Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

FDA Delays Decision on Blood Thinner Eliquis

One of Three Warfarin Alternatives for Stroke Prevention

Reversal Strategy Not Clear continued...

The blood thinning action of warfarin can be quickly reversed in patients who suffer bleeds, have accidents, or face emergency surgery by administering vitamin K, which is blocked by the drug, or by giving patients blood-clotting agents.

But Bufalino says there is no agreed upon way to reverse the action of the new-generation blood thinners.

"Those of us on the front lines are very aware of this issue," he says. "If a patient has a brain bleed, that is a potential disaster, especially if you can't stop the bleeding."

Early laboratory studies suggest that some of the strategies used to reverse the blood thinning action of warfarin may also work with the newer drugs.

But Bufalino tells WebMD that these trials are preliminary and there is, as yet, no consensus on how to best reverse the actions of the new drugs in emergency situations.

Head-to-Head Studies Needed

Mount Sinai Medical Center professor of cardiology Roxana Mehran, MD, says the new blood thinners are likely to be game changers for stroke prevention, but she adds that caution is needed when prescribing them to patients at risk for bleeding, such as the elderly.

There has been speculation, she says, that Eliquis may be the safest of the three drugs for use in these patients, because it works in a new way and is eliminated by the liver.

But Mehran says head-to-head studies of the three drugs are needed to determine which drug is best for which patients, assuming Eliquis is eventually approved by FDA.

The statement issued today by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer noted that the drug makers will continue to work with federal officials.

"FDA and the companies are committed to working expeditiously to address the outstanding questions and move the application forward," the statement read.

1 | 2

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