According to WebMD (01/11/12), researchers from the Cleveland Clinic found that patients who take Pradaxa have a 33 percent higher risk of heart attack or symptoms of heart disease than patients taking warfarin. Pradaxa is a new anti-clotting medication designed to replace warfarin and other older, anti-clotting medications. Pradaxa was also found to have a higher risk of heart attack or symptom of heart disease than Lovenox or than a placebo.
The study, published in the January 9, 2012, issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, noted that overall the risk of heart attack is still small, despite the increase in risk over other medications. Of 20,000 patients who used Pradaxa, 237 had either a heart attack or chest pain. That is compared with 83 patients of more than 10,000 who took warfarin or a placebo. Experts noted, however, that for patients who may already have other risk factors for heart attack, the added risk associated with Pradaxa may be of concern.
READ MORE PRADAXA LEGAL NEWS
The FDA has said it is investigating reports of serious bleeding linked to Pradaxa.
A spokesperson for Boehringer Ingelheim said the company does not agree with the results of the study. He noted that a company-funded study did not find that the risk of heart attack was significantly increased in patients who used Pradaxa.
Pradaxa is approved for the prevention of strokes in patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation.