Monday, August 20, 2007

U.S. orders genetic data on blood-thinner risks

From Reuters:
Widely used blood thinner warfarin will come with new instructions explaining that people with certain genes may need a lower dose to take the drug safely, U.S. health officials said on Thursday.

The change is part of a move toward personalized medicine in which doctors tailor treatment based on genetic makeup, the Food and Drug Administration said.

Warfarin is sold by several generic makers and by Bristol-Myers Squibb under the brand name Coumadin. An estimated 2 million U.S. patients start taking the drug each year to prevent blood clots that may cause heart attacks and strokes.

Some patients, however, experience dangerous bleeding. Experts say about two in 100 patients taking warfarin will have a serious hemorrhage. Excessive bleeding from the drug is one of the most common prescription-related causes of emergency room visits, studies have shown. ...more

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