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Aspirin Alone Works Best to Prevent Clots a Year After Stenting
Date:3/15/2010

Adding Plavix didn't boost outcomes after 12 months, new study finds

MONDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- After 12 months, giving aspirin alone to patients who have had stents implanted seems just as good as giving aspirin along with the blood thinner Plavix, a new study finds.

Researchers discovered that, after an initial year receiving the dual anti-clotting therapy, patients who went off Plavix and just took aspirin had the same rate of heart attacks and death as those patients continuing on the two drugs together.

The findings are unlikely to change what is happening in clinics, however.

"In general, this fits with current guidelines so it's not going to be practice-changing per se," said. Dr. Gurpreet Sandhu, an interventional cardiologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "The current guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology indicate that people need to be on dual anti-platelet therapy for at least one full year after stent placement and then aspirin after that indefinitely."

"I don't think this trial will have any impact on practice in North America and I frankly hope that it won't because there's just not enough that we can draw out of this single trial to clarify what we ought to be doing in North American patients," added Dr. Kirk Garratt, clinical director of interventional cardiovascular research at Lenox Hill Hospital who, like others, is waiting for results from other major trials.

The study is to be presented Monday at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting in Atlanta and will also be published in the March 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also recommends that patients get the combination therapy for at least 12 months after receiving a stent, Garratt said.

"After 12 months, it's dealer's choice. We don't have any good information to gui
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