Heart Drug Combos Linked to Upper GI Bleeding

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An new study reveals that some <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/defective_drugs">common cardiac drug combinations download My Big Fat Greek Wedding You Move You Die divx The Hunter release could raise bleeding risks and the risk for perforation of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) track, reports HealthDay News, citing research that looked at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) data. The pharynx, esophagus, and stomach comprise the upper GI track.

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The research looked at over 78,000 patients who ranged in age from age 60 to 99 in the VA’s national pharmacy and administrative database, said HealthDay News, and found about 30 percent were prescribed so-called Complex Antithrombotic Therapy from January 2003 and September 2006. The therapy involves the combining of two or three drugs and includes anticoagulant-antiplatelet (ACAP), aspirin-antiplatelet (ASAP), aspirin-anticoagulant (ASAC), or TRIP (aspirin-anticoagulant-antiplatelet), explained HealthDay News.

The combinations are generally prescribed to patients with a history of heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease, said HealthDay News and the research found that within a year of the drug therapy, over 1,000 patients suffered some type of GI event requiring immediate medical attention, such as bleeding or perforation.

According to the American Heart Association, anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents are medicines that reduce blood clotting in an artery, a vein, or the heart. Clots can block the blood flow to the heart muscle and cause a heart attack and can also block blood flow to the brain, causing a stroke. Antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin, keep blood clots from forming, while anticoagulants—commonly known as warfarin and heparin—are prescribed to prevent blood from clotting or prevent existing clots from increasing in size. Reuters also cited clot-preventing drugs Coumadin and clopidogrel, or Plavix, sold by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis.

The research found that patients on ASAP and ASAC combinations experienced a two and one-half times increase for risk of suffering a GI event over patients not on these drugs, said HealthDay News. ACAP patients experienced the least GI events; however, TRIP treatment came with a four-fold increased risk, added HealthDay News, citing the study presented at Digestive Disease Week 2009 in Chicago. Of note, said Reuters, the anticoagulant and antiplatelet drug combination—the least harmful combination—“raised the risk of a serious bleeding problem within one year by 70 percent.”

Killing Me Softly movies Patients between 60 and 69 years of age were at the greatest risk because that younger group tended to be on a TRIP drug-combo and with a history that included ischemic heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and peripheral artery disease, according to the study, said HealthDay News.

“The fact that triple therapy is most commonly prescribed to younger patients reflects the changes in current cardiac care,” study author Dr. Neena S. Abraham, of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said in a Digestive Disease Week news release, quoted HealthDay News. “The observed magnitude of UGIE [upper gastrointestinal event] risk suggests an unfavorable risk/benefit profile for CAT [Complex Antithrombotic Therapy] in the short term,” Dr. Abraham added, reported HealthDay News. “They are often prescribed to prevent that second event—that heart attack or stroke,” Dr. Abraham said; “However, each of these drugs independently is associated with a high risk of clinically significant upper gastrointestinal events, which are defined as ulcers of the stomach or intestines, bleeding, or perforations,” quoted Reuters.

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