Printer Friendly

New drug more effective with strokes than aspirin.

NEW DRUG MORE EFFECTIVE WITH STROKES THAN ASPIRIN

Ticlopidine hydrochloride, a recently developed drug, has been proven to be more effective in preventing strokes than aspirin or placebos, according to two recent studies. The findings were announced at the recent 14th International Joint Conference on Stroke and Cerebral Circulation in San Antonio, Texas.

An American investigation involving 55 medical centers across the country began studying over 3,000 high-risk stroke patients in 1981. The patients were considered high risks because they had developed mild strokes within 90 days of enrolling in the study. These mild strokes, called transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), are really not strokes at all, although they possess the same symptoms. Considered by physicians to be warning signs for possible strokes, TIAs are gone the day after they occur and are usually treated with high-dose aspirin, sometimes in combination with other drugs or surgery. After observing patients for a mean of 3.3 years, the study's investigators found that those patients randomly assigned to take ticlopidine twice daily suffered 21 percent fewer strokes than those who had been taking two aspirins twice a day (a dose four times higher than the standard one-a-day dose). Deaths due to stroke were 13 percent less in the ticlopidine group.

A second study, conducted by Canadian and American researchers, compared ticlopidine with a placebo in roughly 1,500 patients who had had strokes from one week to four months prior to entry in the program. This study found a 38 percent reduction in stroke recurrence among men and a 34 percent reduction among women in its ticlopidine-treated group. Side effects of ticlopidine in the Canadian study mirrored those of the first study--stomach distress and serious, albeit reversibl e, decreases in white blood cell counts.

Although the drug's manufacturer, Syntex Corporation of Palo Alto, Calif., has not revealed the drug's retail price, estimates range from $1 to $2 a day, and blood tests will be needed to monitor potential white cell problems. Will the potential health benefits justify the added cost? One other question remains: Is ticlopidine more effective than low-dose aspirin, rather than the high-dose kind used in the 1981 study?

Pending FDA approval, the drug will be available by prescription only. (JAMA, March 17, 1989;261:1541.)
COPYRIGHT 1989 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:ticlopidine hydrochloride
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Jun 1, 1989
Words:376
Previous Article:Depression affecting younger people more.
Next Article:Computerized drug selection.
Topics:


Related Articles
Blood thinners lower risk of stroke for some.
On the other hand....
The dramatic story of aspirin - one of our oldest remedies.
Stroke can be prevented.
A sticky problem solved.
CHECKUP: NEWS, TIPS AND TRENDS : STUDY: MOM'S DIET, BABY WEIGHT NOT ALWAYS LINKED.
DRUG SHOWN TO ENHANCE ANGIOPLASTIES.
Medical prevention of stroke, 2003. (Featured CME Topic: Stroke).
Aspirin therapy.
Lawsuits question safety and efficacy of Plavix.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters