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Anti-stroke drug may cut risk for 1.2 million people with AF

The first new and significant blood-thinning drug in 50 years is now available for people with irregular heartbeats and has been described as “very promising” for people at risk of stroke.

Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate) can potentially cut stroke risk for the 1.2 million people in the UK with atrial fibrillation (AF).

Each year in the UK around 150,000 people have a stroke, of whom at least one in every six (15%) have AF.

The American College of Cardiology was told in April that Pradaxa can mean as much as a 39% stroke-risk reduction for some patients, and that the drug works better than the usual warfarin. Correct dosage of Pradaxa is also said to be easier to administer.

Stroke Association chief executive Jon Barrick said: “This new medication appears to be very promising.

“However, it’s important to note that it won’t be suitable for all, and every AF patient needs to be treated on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they receive the best possible treatment for them.”

 

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