If you have a stent in a coronary artery, a study freshly reported in the New England journal of Medicine has actually some vital results to talk about with your doctor.

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It has actually been common practice for patients that have had actually a stent put to clean a clogged artery to take an anti-clotting drug (such together Plavix, Effient, or Brilinta) plus aspirin because that 12 months after the procedure. Taking these 2 medications, called dual anti-platelet therapy, to reduce the hazard of creating blood clots. However, the optimal size of time to continue to be on the therapy is unknown.

New Data

The freshly released study involving 9,961 patients found that stent patient taking double anti-platelet treatment for 30 month were much less likely to build blood coagulation on the stent (stent thrombosis) or experience a heart strike when contrasted to those patients that took dual anti-platelet treatment for 12 months adhered to by aspirin alone because that the remaining 18 months. Specifically:

The rate of heart attacks in the 30-month group was 2.1 percent compared with 4.1 percent in the 12-month group. The rate of blood clots developing in the stent (stent thrombosis) to be 0.4 percent among patients taking twin anti-platelet treatment for 30 months contrasted with 1.4 percent amongst patients taking double anti-platelet therapy for 12 months. Surprisingly, over there was an increase in the rate of death from any kind of cause in the 30-month group compared to the 12-month group (2.0% vs. 1.5%).

Risks come Consider

Despite the benefits shown by the study, patients in the longer medication team had a significantly higher rate of middle to serious bleeding—2.5 percent contrasted with 1.6 percent. Bleeding is always a serious risk v anti-clotting medications. As soon as the patient in the 30-month group stopped taking the drugs, their rate of heart attacks increased, arguing that some civilization may require indefinite therapy.

The Bottom Line

The goal in prescribing anti-platelet treatment is to offer you the best protection versus future love attacks and also blood coagulation while minimizing the threat of bleeding. Prolonged therapy is a decision that demands to it is in individualized in discussion with her doctor, who will talk through you around factors choose your hazard of recurrent cardiovascular events and bleeding.

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Rupal P. Dumasia, MD, FACC, FSCAI, is an interventional cardiologist with The Heart group of Lancaster basic Health and also director of the catheterization lab in ~ LG Health.

Education: A graduate that the new Jersey medical School, Dr. Dumasia perfect his residency in ~ the Hospital that the college of Pennsylvania and also fellowship in ~ the college of Michigan medical Center. His locations of expertise incorporate angioplasty and also stent placement, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, and cardiac catheterization.