People who take the new blood-thinning drug Pradaxa (dabigatran) may be at a slightly increased risk for heart attack, a new study has found.
Cleveland Clinic researchers found people taking the recently approved anticoagulant may be at greater risk than those taking the older drug warfarin, according to the study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
"Clinicians should consider the potential of these serious harmful cardiovascular effects with use of dabigatran," the study concludes.
Dabigatran was approved for use two years ago by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent stroke and systemic embolism. It was the first new blood-clot prevention medicine to hit the market in nearly five decades.
It is sold under the brand name Pradaxa, and has been taken by an estimated 500,000 people to prevent blood clots that could cause stroke. It is typically used in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and those who’ve undergone hip or kneed replacement.
Researchers’ conclusions were based on a review of seven studies of dabigatran, involving 30,514 participants.
They suggest that while dabigatran might not directly increase the risk of heart attack, it may lack the beneficial effects that warfarin and aspirin have in preventing them.