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Study: Not All Patients Receive Appropriate Plavix, Effient Dosing

Filed November 8th, 2012 Laurie

As many as 75 percent of patients using the blood-thinners Plavix and Effient may be getting the wrong dose and could be at high risk for developing uncontrolled bleeding and blood clots, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Researchers at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, discovered that millions of Americans taking the clot-preventing drugs all took the standardized dose, but the same dose might not be effective for everyone. Researchers looked at 500 patients and found that half of the patients taking Plavix weren’t getting enough of the drug to prevent blood clots, and one-quarter were getting too much. Only one-quarter of the patients studied were getting the correct dose, according to HealthDay News. Researchers found the very same to be true of patients taking Effient.

Cardiac researcher, Dr. Brent Muhlestein, said in an institute news release that all it took was a simple blood test to determine if a patient was getting the correct doses or not. “We showed that by performing a simple blood test to see whether or not the blood is clotting properly, we can determine whether patients are receiving an appropriate, individualized dose of the medications. The test is easy to perform, but not widely used,” Muhlestein told HealthDay News. Researchers say that factors like age, gender, cholesterol levels, and history of heart problems play a major role in putting patients on the right amount of the medications.

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