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Medical News & Perspectives
January 24/31, 2007

Agents to Control Bleeding Show Promise

JAMA. 2007;297(4):349-350. doi:10.1001/jama.297.4.349

Orlando—Recent clinical trials point to novel therapies to prevent bleeding in individuals at high risk of venous thrombolism who are treated with anticoagulant therapy and in patients with thrombocytopenia. As reported in December at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, various alternatives to current treatments may someday make their way into the clinic.

New anticoagulants

Every year, thousands of patients develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and are at risk of pulmonary embolism after undergoing surgeries, particularly orthopedic procedures in the hips and legs. Although low-molecular-weight heparin is considered the standard therapy for DVT and other forms of venous thromboembolism, it is far from an ideal anticoagulant. Its drawbacks include the need for daily injections, adverse interactions with many types of drugs, and a wide variation in patient response. Researchers have therefore continued to search for alternative therapies.