Jul 23, 2017 | Updated: 04:04 PM EDT

Apixaban, Alternative To Warfarin Which Can Prevent Strokes In Patients Undergoing Dialysis

Mar 17, 2017 06:15 AM EDT

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A patient at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is treated on a dialysis machine at Birmingham on June 14, 2006 in Birmingham, England.
(Photo : Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Around one in 10 Americans are experiencing chronic kidney disease which also increases the number of patients undergoing dialysis. However, dialysis procedures can cause several side effects such as having strokes. With the latest finding of the doctors from the Jewish General Hospital at McGill University in Canada, Apixaban an alternative to warfarin was found which can actually lower the risk of having strokes among dialysis patients.

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According to an article in EurekAlert, Dr. Thomas Mavrakanas and Dr. Mark Lipman led the team of researchers who studied the cases of kidney failure patients who have undergone dialysis. Through their observations, atrial fibrillation is common among these patients undergoing dialysis. As the risks to atrial fibrillation increases, so does their risk to having a case of stroke. But with help of warfarin, a medical blood thinner, the risk of having stroke decreases but its effectiveness among dialysis patients has not yet been proven.

Through their study which was published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), the team of doctors reviewed the potential of apixaban, a more effective drug compared to warfarin. They tested it among seven patients who all received 2.5 mg twice a day.

As a result, the researchers found out that when the dosage of apixaban was increased, there has been a relative increase in the blood levels of the patients. Mavrakanas shared that this increased dosage, 5 mg twice a day, would be detrimental to patients especially those undergoing dialysis. However, with the 2.5 mg twice daily dosage, their team saw a good potential for dialysis patients who could also possess atrial fibrillation issues.

Although their study is a good example of the said case for using apixaban, Mavrakanas reiterated the importance of conducting more research and studying more clinical data. Some studies also showed that some patients who took apixaban who also stopped all of a sudden can have an increased risk of blood clots and even stroke.


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