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Plavix Mixed with Heartburn Drugs Potentially Dangerous

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Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke Increases In Stent Patients

Patients who have stents, and who are on the blood thinner Plavix, may be at greater risk for heart attack, stroke, hospitalization or coronary artery bypass, if they also take certain heartburn drugs, such as Nexium, the proton pump inhibitor made by AstraZeneca.

The results are cause for real concern because many patients on Plavix are prescribed proton pump inhibitors like Nexium, or Wyeth's Protonix, because Plavix is associated with a risk of ulcers.

The results are from a newly released study which evaluated data from 14,000 patients between 2005 and 2006 in the Medco Health Solutions database. Approximately 40 percent of the people studied were taking heartburn medications. According to the company's chief medical officer, if over-the-counter medications such as AstraZeneca's Prilosec were included, the percent of patients would have probably been higher.

The study results showed that 32.5 percent of patients who took Plavix and a heartburn medication and who had not suffered a previous heart attack, experienced a severe cardiovascular event within a year of their stent surgery. By comparison heart attack, stroke, bypass surgery or chest pain were experienced by only 21.2 percent of patients who only took Plavix. Similarly, 39.8 percent of patients taking the 2 different types of medication and who had suffered a previous heart attack experienced a severe cardiovascular event within a year. Whereas only 26.2 percent of patients who did not take the heartburn drugs in combination with Plavix experienced an event.
 

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READER COMMENTS

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Husband had stenting 08/2007, open heart surgery 12/07, stenting again 09/08, stent 03/10, After symptoms of TIA's I took him to ER on 07/27/10 and was just diagnosed with 50% blockage in carotid artery & 90% left artery of brainstem....His PCP just took him off Nexium few months ago.

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