Benefits of continuing anti-blood clot medication outweigh the risks: study

August 10, 2016

An analysis of an international trial, published in Chest and led by Dr. Philip Wells, found that the benefits of using the anti-blood clotting medication rivaroxaban long-term to treat clots in the legs outweigh the risks. Over 30,000 Canadians every year are affected by these clots, which can travel to the lungs and block an artery. While these patients are often prescribed anti-clotting drugs, many doctors feel that the risk of major bleeding is too great to continue the treatment for more than six to 12 months. However, this study of 1,197 patients who were given either rivaroxaban or a placebo for up to a year after the standard six-month treatment showed that blood clots came back in three percent of the patients on the drugs compared to 9.6 percent of the placebo patients. Only 0.7 percent of patients on the anti-clotting drug experienced major bleeding, showing that the risk of continuing the treatment is minimal.

Authors: Wells PS, Prins MH, Levitan B, Beyer-Westendorf J, Brighton TA, Bounameaux H, Cohen AT, Davidson BL, Prandoni P, Raskob GE, Yuan Z, Katz EG, Gebel M, Lensing AW.

Funders: Bayer Healthcare, Janssen Pharmaceutical Research & Development LLC

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