Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Plavix Cessation Linked to Heart Attacks and Death

This morning's Wall Street Journal reports on a recently released JAMA study that found that patients halting their Plavix use had an increased chance of heart attacks or death within 90 days after they stopped taking the drug.   Here's an excerpt:

The study, published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, focused on 3,137 patients discharged from 127 Veterans Affairs hospitals from 2003 to 2005. Plavix is generically known as clopidogrel.

The doctors found the increased rate of adverse events both in patients who initially received only medical treatment and in those treated with angioplasty and stents.

"We observed a clustering of adverse events in the initial 90 days after stopping clopidogrel," the researchers wrote, "supporting the possibility of a clopidogrel-rebound effect."

The doctors found that the rate of heart attack and death during the 90 days following cessation of Plavix therapy nearly doubled.


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