After suffering a stroke or a mini-stroke, patients are usually given aspirin to prevent clots that can cause another stroke. Now a new study suggests that adding the drug Plavix (clopidogrel) to the mix can reduce the risk of a second stroke by nearly a third over aspirin alone.
Both drugs target clotting agents in the blood, called platelets, preventing them from grouping together and forming clots. The drug combination is commonly used after a heart attack, but until now there hasn’t been enough data to suggest it would work in stroke or mini-stroke, officially known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA).
“Giving two drugs that block platelets works a lot better than aspirin alone in people who have had a minor stroke or TIA,” said researcher Dr. S. Claiborne Johnston, a professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco.
The trial was done in China, so whether the results would be the same in the United States isn’t known. “They probably are, but we would like to see them confirmed,” Johnston said.
To do so, a similar trial is under way in the United States with Johnston as the lead investigator. “We should have confirmation or no confirmation within a few years,” he said.
The full article is located at Health Day