Safety

Long-term Antiplatelet Therapy: Safety Announcement - Preliminary Trial Data Shows Benefits But a Higher Risk of Non-Cardiovascular Death

[Posted 11/16/2014]

AUDIENCE: Cardiology, Hematology, Surgery

ISSUE: FDA is evaluating preliminary data from a clinical trial showing that treatment for 30 months with dual antiplatelet blood-thinning therapy decreased the risk of heart attacks and clot formation in stents, but there was an increased overall risk of death compared to 12 months of treatment. The clinical trial compared 30 months versus 12 months of treatment with dual antiplatelet therapy consisting of aspirin plus either clopidogrel (Plavix) or prasugrel (Effient), following implantation of drug-eluting coronary stents. These stents are small, medicine-coated tubes inserted into narrowed arteries in the heart to keep them open and maintain blood flow to the heart. Clopidogrel and prasugrel are important medicines used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other clot-related diseases. 

FDA believes the benefits of clopidogrel (Plavix) and prasugrel (Effient) therapy continue to outweigh their potential risks when used for approved uses. 

BACKGROUND: The Dual Antiplatelet Therapy (DAPT) trial was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on November 16, 2014. FDA has not reviewed the trial results or reached any conclusions based on the findings from this clinical trial. We are communicating this safety information while we continue to evaluate the results from this trial and other available data. We will communicate our final conclusions and recommendations when our evaluation is complete.

RECOMMENDATION: Health care professionals should not change the way they prescribe these drugs at this time. Patients should not stop taking these drugs because doing so may result in an increased risk of heart attacks, blood clots, strokes, and other major cardiovascular problems.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178.

[11/16/2014 - Safety Announcement - FDA]

Page Last Updated: 11/16/2014
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