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Experimental clot inhibitors match conventional drugs

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10:54am, December 19, 2006

From Orlando, Fla., at a meeting of the American Society of Hematology

Two new drugs—one in pill form and another requiring only a single weekly injection—prevent dangerous blood clots in leg veins just as well as do standard treatments that require daily shots, two European research teams report.

In one study, scientists in Sweden focused on people who were undergoing knee-replacement surgery, a group at high risk of developing clots. The researchers gave 1,029 of the patients an experimental oral drug called dabigatran etexilate a few hours after surgery and then daily for at least a week. Another group of 512 patients received a standard treatment, enoxaparin (Lovenox)—a derivative of the blood thinner heparin—by daily injection for a week, starting 12 hours before surgery.

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