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Fatal Flaw? Antibleeding drug faces new safety questions

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10:25am, February 7, 2007

A drug commonly used to slow bleeding during heart surgery increases a patient's risk of dying during the next 5 years, a new study suggests.

U.S. heart surgeons have used the drug, called aprotinin, for 14 years. But last year, researchers reported that people receiving it had heightened risks of kidney problems, heart attack, and stroke. Those findings prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to change the labeling on aprotinin to limit its use to coronary-bypass surgery patients at high risk of blood loss.

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