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February 2004, Volume 34 Number 2 , p 24 - 24



© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 34(2)             February 2004             p 24 Ximelagatran works as well as warfarin [DRUG NEWS: ATRIAL FIBRILLATION]

The oral thrombin inhibitor ximelagatran (Exanta), which isn't yet available in the United States, is as effective as warfarin (Coumadin) for preventing strokes and reducing embolic events in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.

Researchers randomly assigned almost 4,000 high-risk patients to receive either ximelagatran or warfarin. Because warfarin can be hard to maintain in the therapeutic range, researchers monitored coagulation studies in patients taking it very closely. As a result, patients taking warfarin remained in the therapeutic range nearly 70% of the time. To ensure that all patients remained in the dark about the drug they were taking, researchers also administered tests and fake “drug adjustments” ...

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