Scientists have examined strategies to reverse the effects of new blood thinning drugs, to stop dangerous bleeding in case of an accident or emergency surgery.
Many people in the UK take blood thinning drugs to reduce their risk of stroke. In an emergency situation, where a patient is likely to bleed heavily, doctors need to reverse the blood thinning effects and encourage the blood to clot.
In this study, researchers added apixaban, a new blood thinner, to blood from healthy donors. They then tested the blood with three clotting agents. All three appeared to reverse the effects of the drug, but it is not known which would work best for a real patient.
Ellen Mason, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: “New blood thinners, such as apixaban and rivaroxaban, are easier to take than warfarin, as they require less frequent blood tests.
“They are now licensed in England and Wales for the prevention of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation, so their use will become more widespread. However, it is vital that ways are found to reverse their effects and offer an antidote in an emergency.
“Clinical trials are needed before this research can move out of the lab and be put into practice. In the meantime, if you have any questions about your medication, make sure you talk to your GP.”
This study was published in the American Heart Association Journal.
Issued in response to: Reversal of Apixaban Induced Alterations of Hemostasis By Different Coagulation Factor Concentrates: Studies In Vitro With Circulating Human Blood. Gines Escolar et al. Published in the American Heart Association Journal on June 20, 2012.
Source: The British Heart Foundation