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Minor bleeding hits clopidogrel compliance

Superficial or nuisance bleeding is a common reason for patients on antiplatelet therapy to stop taking clopidogrel after cardiac surgery, say US researchers.

The observational study looked at the outcomes of over 2,300 patients following the implantation of a coronary stent and found nearly a third reported bleeding events on clopidogrel and aspirin.

Less than one per cent were serious, with over 85% of bleeds classified as superficial, but 11% of these patients with nuisance bleeding discontinued their clopidogrel treatment.

‘This is the first report to quantify this frequently encountered problem that can lead to drug discontinuation. The findings also highlight the need for greater follow-up and education in this patient subset to improve clopidogrel compliance,' said the authors.

American Journal of Cardiology 2008; 102: 1614-7

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