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I am a clinical pharmacist currently doing freelance writing on various pharmacy topics. I graduated from Arnold and Marie Schwartz School of Pharmacy in 1988 with a bachelors degree in pharmacy. While practicing as a clinical pharmacist I obtained my Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) from the University of Florida in 2003.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Danger: Patients Often Stop Taking Effient® On Own

Danger: Patients Often Stop Taking Effient® On Own
Patients taking prasugrel (Effient®) to prevent clots after coronary artery stenting will often decide on their own to stop the drug if they have "nuisance" bleeding, French researchers warn. Nuisance bleeding includes easy bruising, bleeding from small cuts, petechiae and ecchymosis (small blotches and black and blue marks), they say. "Patient education is critical to further improve outcome. Minor bleeding should be taken into account more carefully in research trial and practice because it has a great impact on compliance to antiplatelet (anti-clotting) therapy and potentially on clinical outcome," Dr. Laurent Bonello of Universite de la Mediterranee, Marseille told Reuters Health by email. Dr. Bonello and colleagues studied 396 patients who had stents placed for acute coronary syndromes. All patients were advised to take aspirin 75 mg/day and Effient® (prasugrel) 10 mg/day for at least a year. But a month later, nearly 15% of patients with nuisance bleeding had stopped taking their prasugrel, and 76% of those had done so without telling their doctors, according to a September 8th online report in the American Journal of Cardiology.  "In light of our results, it appears critical to inform patients about the potential occurrence of these bleeds and the need to continue the drug despite this minor complication," the authors conclude. In the US, the package insert for Effient® carries a boxed warning (the most severe FDA warning) both of the significant risks of bleeding and the increased risk of cardiovascular events should Effient® be stopped. If a patient does stop Effient® on their own, they stand the risk of having the affected heart vessel becoming blocked again. Please do not stop taking any medication without talking to your healthcare professional first.

Source: Medscape News

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