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Aspirin-Plavix Combo: No Clear Edge

2 Drugs Together Are No Better at Preventing Heart Attacks Than Aspirin Alone

Some Benefits for Heart Patients continued...

"This translates to a significant 12% reduction in risk," Bhatt says.

But the 3,284 patients with multiple risk factors were nearly 50% more likely to die from cardiovascular causes, he says. In this subgroup, 3.9% of Plavix users died vs. 2.2% on placebo. People taking Plavix were also more likely to suffer moderate bleeding, he says.

Marc A. Pfeffer, MD, PhD, of Harvard Medical School, and John A. Jarcho, MD, of The New England Journal of Medicine, write that the risks and costs of the combination therapy appear to outweigh the benefits for the people studied.

"The absence of a clear benefit in terms of outcome, coupled with an increased rate of bleeding ... argues against the use of dual antiplatelet therapy in this patient population," they write in an editorial accompanying the study.

Plavix is co-marketed by Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., which funded the study. Both are WebMD sponsors.

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