July 9, 2010

Promising Competitor for Plavix up for FDA Approval Soon

Posted in Heart Disease in the News, Heart disease tips tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:14 am by keepyourhearthealthy

Photographer: br3akthru

A new investigational drug is coming up for FDA approval later this month.  This new drug called ticagrelor could change heart disease medications by competing with the big brand name Plavix.  Up until a year ago, there were no good alternatives to Plavix.  Plavix is a “blood thinner” prescription that is frequently given to patients after they have had a drug-eluting stent placed in their coronary arteries.  Now, people have the option of using a new drug called Effient instead of Plavix.  Unfortunately, Effient is still quite expensive like Plavix.

The newest medication ticagrelor would add even more competition for Plavix in heart disease patients.  The best part is that studies have shown ticagrelor works in patients who do not respond to Plavix therapy. Recently the FDA issued a warning to cardiologists about a small percentage of patients who do not respond to Plavix.  These non-responders have an increased risk of heart attacks because they do not get the same benefits from Plavix.

If ticagrelor becomes FDA approved at the end of July, we may soon have a solution for the people who do not respond to Plavix.  Patients need to be aware that the new drug might cause shortness of breath.  But for Plavix non-responders ticagrelor could be a life-saving treatment!

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