Drug/Aspirin Combo Packs Powerful Punch After Heart Attack

The two may reduce death risk and coronary problems, study finds

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WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- The risk of death and coronary problems for people who've recently suffered a heart attack may be reduced by using the direct thrombin inhibitor ximelagatran in combination with aspirin.

That's according to early results of a Swedish study published online this week in The Lancet.

Researchers compared the safety and efficacy of four doses of oral ximelagatran with placebo given for six months to 1,883 patients. All the patients were taking aspirin and had recently been admitted to hospital after suffering a heart attack.

The study found the drug reduced the risk of death, non-fatal heart attack, and severe recurrent ischemia by about 25 percent when compared with the placebo.

"Confirmatory large-scale Phase III trials are needed to provide more definite evidence about safety aspects and clinically important benefits of the oral direct thrombin inhibitor ximelagatran as part of different treatment strategies in acute and chronic coronary artery disease," researcher Lars Wallentin, University Hospital Uppsala, says in a news release.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about how to get back into your life after a heart attack.

SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, Sept. 2, 2003

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