New Blood Thinners May Shorten Patients’ Hospital Stays

Note: Study co-authors included Deborah Grady, MD, MPH, and Jaekyu Shin, PharmD, of UCSF; and Gboyega Adeboyeje, MD, MS, and John Barron, PharmD, of HealthCore, Inc. Funding was provided by the Outstanding Resident Research Award, Resident Research Funding Grant and Resident Research Travel Grant from the UCSF Clinical & Translational Science Institute.

The use of newer blood-thinners for patients at risk of stroke may lead to two fewer days in the hospital for those who experience complications, with the same survival rate as the older drug warfarin, according to a data study by researchers at UC San Francisco.

If validated by clinical studies, the finding could save patients added discomfort and potential complications, as well as the significant expense of extended hospital stays.

The study – which examined insurance claims data for more than 3,000 patients who were at risk for stroke due to atrial fibrillation, treated with anticoagulants, and later admitted to a hospital for bleeding – calls into question the current medical belief that the older drug is safer. The study appears online March 28, 2018, in PLOS ONE.

“As the newer drugs cannot be monitored and their effect cannot easily be reversed, many have speculated that bleeding on these newer drugs would be more dangerous than bleeding on warfarin,” said lead author Blake Charlton, MD, a UCSF cardiology clinical fellow. “We found this was not the case, as there were no significant differences in mortality among the groups.”

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