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Study says aspirin may be less risky than blood thinners

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, aspirin may be just as effective a long-term treatment for blood clots as commonly prescribed blood thinners such as warfarin, while carrying less risk of bleeding.

According to a U.S. News and World Report article on the study, Italian researchers looked at 402 patients who took either aspirin or a placebo after receiving other anticoagulant treatment for six to 18 months.

All of the patients had previously suffered an episode of venous thromboembolism, or a blood clot in one of the deeper veins, without any risk factors that might have predicted it. The clots that form during venous thromboembolism can be deadly if they break away and travel to the brain, heart or lungs.

According to the Mayo Clinic, risk factors for blood clots include recent surgery, pregnancy, extended periods of immobility and use of oral contraceptives. Numerous studies have indicated that birth control pills containing the compound drospirenone – including Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella – carry a higher risk of blood clots than other types of birth control pills on the market.

Over two years of follow-up in the Italian study, 6.6 percent of those taking aspirin had another episode of venous thromboembolism, compared with 11.2 percent of those receiving a placebo, the study found. The researchers concluded that aspirin reduced the risk of recurrence, with no apparent increase in the risk of major bleeding.

The report quotes Dr. Richard Becker, professor of medicine and director of the Duke Cardiovascular Thrombosis Center at Duke University Medical Center, describing the findings as “important, but preliminary.”

Becker also says the study is too small to change practice.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries resulting from use of birth control pills containing drospirenone.

See the report here:

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/05/23/aspirin-may-prevent-recurrence-of-deep-vein-blood-clots