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AstraZeneca's Blood Thinner Brilinta Can Increase Bleeding Risks

Mar 18, 2015

A new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine has found that Brilinta, a blood thinner manufactured by AstraZeneca, can increase the risk of bleeding.

Researchers found that long-term use of the drug is linked with an increased risk of bleeding, despite also being associated with a lower risk of heart attack and strokes in patients who already have a history of such events. The study looked at patients taking aspirin alone versus aspirin plus Brilinta, according to Reuters. Aspirin is routinely prescribed to patients who have suffered heart attacks or strokes over the past 12 months. Researchers found that 31 major bleeding events would occur for every 10,000 people taking Brilinta and 42 heart attacks or strokes would be avoided.

Among patients taking aspirin alone, 9.04 percent experienced a stroke or heart attack. In the group taking aspirin plus the 60 mg dose of Brilinta, the rate was 7.77 percent. The effectiveness was reduced when the dose was increased to 90 mg, according to MedPage Today. The rate of major bleeding events was substantially higher with Brilinta compared to those taking aspirin alone, at 2.3 percent and 1.06 percent, respectively.

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