Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

New Anticlotting Drug May Extend Heart Patients' Lives

Study Shows Xarelto Helps Treat People Who Had Heart Attacks or Chest Pain
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

xray of human heart

Nov. 14, 2011 (Orlando, Fla.) -- People recently hospitalized for heart attack or the severe chest pain of angina may live longer if they take the new anticlotting pill Xarelto in addition to standard treatment, a large study shows.

There was a drawback to taking Xarelto: an increased risk of serious, but non-deadly, bleeding, including bleeding in the brain.

Still, "death trumps nonfatal bleeding in most people's mind," so overall Xarelto is a substantial advance for these people, says Paul Armstrong, MD, a cardiologist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Armstrong was not involved with the study.

The study was presented here at the American Heart Association (AHA) annual meeting. It was also published online by The New England Journal of Medicine.

Targeting Acute Coronary Syndrome

The study involved more than 15,500 people who had been hospitalized for acute coronary syndrome within the past week. Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) describes conditions such as heart attacks and angina (heart-related chest pain) that occur because of reduced blood flow to the heart.

Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is approved by the FDA to prevent strokes in people with an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (AF) and to prevent the formation of blood clots after hip and knee replacement surgeries.

It works in a different way than aspirin and older anticlotting drugs like Plavix.

Based on the new findings, Johnson & Johnson, which makes the drug and funded the study, plans to apply for FDA approval for use in people with acute coronary syndrome by the end of the year.

At least 671,000 Americans were discharged from the hospital with ACS in 2007, the latest year for which figures are available, according to the AHA.

A price for use of Xarelto in treating ACS has not been set. A much higher dose used for stroke prevention in people with AF costs about $7 a day, according to Johnson & Johnson.

Today on WebMD

cholesterol lab test report
Article
Compressed heart
Article
 
Heart Foods Slideshow
Slideshow
Compressed heart
Article
 
empty football helmet
Article
doctor looking at xrays
Video
 
eating blueberries
Article
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Slideshow
 
Inside A Heart Attack
SLIDESHOW
Omega 3 Sources
SLIDESHOW
 
Salt Shockers
SLIDESHOW
lowering blood pressure
SLIDESHOW