Heart patients who showed allergic reactions to the life-saving blood thinner Plavix were able to remain on the drug after being treated with a combination of steroids and antihistamines as part of a study at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Plavix, whose chemical name is clopidogrel, helps prevent blood clots in angioplasty patients.
“This is a very important study for many cardiac patients, but especially those with stents,” said lead researcher Michael P. Savage. “Every patient who receives a stent must take Plavix to help prevent stent thrombosis, which is clotting of the stent. This obviously poses major problems if the patient suffers an allergic reaction to the medication.”
Of the 24 patients in the study, 88 percent were able to remain on Plavix. Before this treatment was discovered, patients had to endure secondary medicines that each had their own side effects.
The researchers are considering a similar approach to negative interactions from other drugs.
“Hopefully, in the future, we can expand the study and investigate ways to apply this in treating allergic reactions to other life-saving drugs,” said lead author Kimberly L. Campbell.