Heart attack drug proven to have no rebound effect

February 3, 2014 by Kelly Potts
Heart attack drug proven to have no rebound effect
University of Aberdeen scientists have analysed clopidogrel - a drug prescribed following a heart attack.

(Medical Xpress)—Clopidogrel, a drug prescribed to thousands of people who have had a heart attack, can be safely withdrawn with no 'rebound effect', according to a study by Aberdeen scientists.

The drug works by lowering the stickiness of and preventing clots forming. Heart attacks occur when platelets in the blood form clots in the .

Current guidelines recommend that patients are prescribed clopidogrel for up to 12 months following a .

However, recent reports had shown that a higher than expected number of patients experienced within a short time of stopping this drug.

Concerns were raised that the drug may be causing platelets within the blood to become more active.

But a three year study of patients who had a attack or blocked leg artery, performed by experts from the University of Aberdeen's Institute of Medical Sciences, has found no evidence for increased blood platelet activity after planned discontinuation of the drug.

The findings of the research, which was funded by Heart Research UK, are published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

Dr Isobel Ford from the University of Aberdeen's Institute of Medical Sciences said: "Our trial recruited 171 patients who had narrowed arteries in their heart or leg arteries. They were given clopidogrel and aspirin, or a placebo capsule and aspirin, to take for one month. We measured blood platelet activity using a range of tests before, during treatment, and after stopping the medicine.

"Our study is the first to show that platelet activity after stopping clopidogrel is not any higher than it would have been without the ."

Julie Brittenden, Professor in Vascular Surgery & Deputy Head of Division of Applied Medicine at the University of Aberdeen said: "Our findings provide reassurance for doctors that they can safely halt therapy using clopidogrel in patients that are stable, as per current guidelines, without leading to a rebound in platelet activity."

Explore further: Low responsiveness to clopidogrel predicts stent thrombosis, heart attack: But is not directly linked to death

Related Stories

1-year results of ADAPT-DES trial published in The Lancet

July 26, 2013

Patients who receive a drug-eluting stent (DES) and demonstrate high platelet reactivity on clopidogrel are more likely to have blood clots form on the stent and to suffer a heart attack; however, these patients are less ...

Recommended for you

No new heart muscle cells in mice after the newborn period

November 5, 2015

A new study from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet shows that new heart muscle cells in mice are mainly formed directly after birth. After the neonatal period the number of heart muscle cells does not change, and A new study ...

Nanotechnology could spur new heart treatment

October 29, 2015

A new nanoparticle developed by University of Michigan researchers could be the key to a targeted therapy for cardiac arrhythmia, a condition that causes the heart to beat erratically and can lead to heart attack and stroke.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.