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Dabigatran useful for high-risk AF patients

By Nigel Praities

Dabigatran is an effective alternative anticoagulant therapy compared with warfarin in high-risk patients with atrial fibrillation, says a new international study.

The RE-LY trial looked at 1,200 of these patients and randomised them to dabigatran 110mg, dabigatran 150 mg or warfarin adjusted to the INR ratio of 2 to 3 over a median of two years.

They found a lower incidence of stroke or pulmonary embolism in patients receiving dabigatran, compared with warfarin, and concluded the effects of both drugs were ‘similar’.

But they warned there might be an increased risk of haemorrhage for the higher dose of dabigatran.

Study leader Professor Hans-Christoph Diener, professor of neurology at University Hospital Essen, Germany, said: ‘Physicians need to trade off the benefits of stroke prevention against the risk of haemorrhage.’

Lancet Neurology, online 8 November

Dabigatran is a new alternative to warfarin for patients with AF