Drug Combination Including New "Super Aspirin" Drug Cuts Risk Of Death Or Second Heart Attack

June 22, 1998

DALLAS, June 23 -- In a growing class of blood-thinning drugs to treat heart attack, researchers have found one that seems to have a greater long-term benefit rather than only an immediate effect, according to a study released in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The drug, lamifiban, is in a class of drugs called "platelet IIb/ IIIa receptor blockers," which prevent platelets from forming blood clots that obstruct blood vessels and cause heart attacks. Through a different mechanism, aspirin has a much weaker effect on platelets.

Lamifiban was used alone in varying doses and in combination with heparin, a blood-thinning agent.

The new drug combination may be used to treat patients who have severe chest pain or have had a non-Q-wave, or limited, heart attack. Standard in-hospital treatment for these individuals involves aspirin and heparin.

The study, co-authored by David J. Moliterno, M.D. is among several that are looking into ways to reduce heart attack survivors' high risk for death or a second heart attack in the first year following the attack, with the most critical period being in the first few weeks.

His study is unique in that it suggests a long-term benefit rather than an immediate effect alone. Even with standard treatment, "There is still room for improvement," says Moliterno, of the department of cardiology at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio. The number of deaths and second heart attacks is high even at six months after the initial attack, he says.

The Circulation report, however, indicates that if heart attack patients survive the first 30 days, the chances of surviving past six months or even a year are better if they receive lamifiban compared with standard treatment.

"We don't know specifically how long before each individual patient is stabilized after a heart attack," says Moliterno. "Most deaths and second heart attacks tend to occur in the first few days or weeks, but there's more than a 50 percent increase in these events between 30 days and six months, regardless of current therapy."

The study involved 2,282 hospitalized patients in 20 countries. Patients were assigned one of the following drug combinations: low-dose lamifiban with or without heparin, high-dose lamifiban with or without heparin, or standard heparin alone therapy. All patients received aspirin.

"The additive role of heparin remains uncertain, but appears more favorable with low-dose lamifiban," Moliterno says.

After 30 days there was a minor difference in the number of deaths or second heart attacks among the low-dose lamifiban, high-dose lamifiban, and standard groups. However, after six months, the individuals taking low doses of lamifiban were 23 percent less likely to die or have second heart attacks. When compared with the standard heparin only treatment, a combination of low doses of lamifiban and heparin reduced the number of deaths or second heart attacks by over 30 percent.

Researchers say the study has yielded "very encouraging" results, and a more focused study using specific doses of lamifiban, based on each patient's height and weight, is underway. Further study will also explore the extent of benefit that lamifiban treatment offers at different follow-up intervals.

The FDA does not yet approve lamifiban.

Co-authors of the study are scientists and doctors participating in the Platelet IIb/ IIa Antagonism for the Reduction of Acute coronary syndrome events in a Global Organization Network (PARAGON) trial.

Media advisory: Dr. Moliterno may be reached by calling (216) 444-2121; fax (216) 445-4363. (Please do not publish telephone or fax numbers.)
-end-


American Heart Association

Related Heart Attack Articles from Brightsurf:

Top Science Tip Sheet on heart failure, heart muscle cells, heart attack and atrial fibrillation results
Newly discovered pathway may have potential for treating heart failure - New research model helps predict heart muscle cells' impact on heart function after injury - New mass spectrometry approach generates libraries of glycans in human heart tissue - Understanding heart damage after heart attack and treatment may provide clues for prevention - Understanding atrial fibrillation's effects on heart cells may help find treatments - New research may lead to therapy for heart failure caused by ICI cancer medication

Molecular imaging identifies link between heart and kidney inflammation after heart attack
Whole body positron emission tomography (PET) has, for the first time, illustrated the existence of inter-organ communication between the heart and kidneys via the immune system following acute myocardial infarction.

Muscle protein abundant in the heart plays key role in blood clotting during heart attack
A prevalent heart protein known as cardiac myosin, which is released into the body when a person suffers a heart attack, can cause blood to thicken or clot--worsening damage to heart tissue, a new study shows.

New target identified for repairing the heart after heart attack
An immune cell is shown for the first time to be involved in creating the scar that repairs the heart after damage.

Heart cells respond to heart attack and increase the chance of survival
The heart of humans and mice does not completely recover after a heart attack.

A simple method to improve heart-attack repair using stem cell-derived heart muscle cells
The heart cannot regenerate muscle after a heart attack, and this can lead to lethal heart failure.

Mount Sinai discovers placental stem cells that can regenerate heart after heart attack
Study identifies new stem cell type that can significantly improve cardiac function.

Fixing a broken heart: Exploring new ways to heal damage after a heart attack
The days immediately following a heart attack are critical for survivors' longevity and long-term healing of tissue.

Heart patch could limit muscle damage in heart attack aftermath
Guided by computer simulations, an international team of researchers has developed an adhesive patch that can provide support for damaged heart tissue, potentially reducing the stretching of heart muscle that's common after a heart attack.

How the heart sends an SOS signal to bone marrow cells after a heart attack
Exosomes are key to the SOS signal that the heart muscle sends out after a heart attack.

Read More: Heart Attack News and Heart Attack Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.