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New anticoagulant, safer than Coumadin, receives FDA approval

A new anticoagulant drug, dabigatran (Pradaxa) was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This new drug is approved for preventing strokes and thrombosis in patients with atrial fibrillation. Unlike it's counterpart, warfarin (Coumadin), dabigatran does not require regular monitoring of a patient's coagulation status. The bleeding risk with the lower dose dabigatran is less than in warfarin. High-dose dabigatran has about the same bleeding risk as high-dose warfarin. Study data revealed that dabigatran may be particularly helpful in patients who are treated at centers that have a poor track record in monitoring patients and their target international normalized ration(INR) levels. INR levels indicate a patient's vulnerability to bleeding and thrombosis.* Andrea Schumann Staff Writer

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