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Routine drug combination is a killer
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

Routine treatment for people who've suffered a stroke is aspirin with Plavix (clopidogrel) to stop further clotting - but the combination is deadly

Routine treatment for people who've suffered a stroke is aspirin with Plavix (clopidogrel) to stop further clotting - but the combination is deadly.
The two drugs increase the risk of bleeding and death, a major safety trial has just discovered. So great is the risk that the trials have been abandoned, and doctors are being told to stop prescribing the drug combination.
Patients most at risk are those who have suffered a sub-cortical stroke, which is the most common cause of dementia. Overall, people taking both drugs doubled their risk of dying from bleeding in the brain compared to those who took aspirin on its own, the SPS3 (Secondary Prevention of Small Subcortical Strokes Trial) study discovered.
The trial, which began in 2003, monitored the health of 3020 patients who were given either aspirin and clopidogrel or aspirin and placebo. It was stopped prematurely last August when the researchers discovered the high risk the drug combination posed.
(Source: American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, 3 February 2012).


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