For years, the primary method of stroke prevention has been the use of a drug more frequently used as a method of killing vermin. Warfarin, commonly known as “rat poison” has been used on patients considered to be at risk of strokes. It has, to the present day, been deemed very effective in doing so due to its blood-thinning capabilities. However, those same capabilities have had some negative results along with the positive ones. Cuts and stomach ulcers have led to excessive bleeding, and certain acidic foods have been known to react badly with it. The search has continued for a stroke prevention drug without the negative effects of Warfarin.
It seems now as though the search may have raised a preferable alternative. The drug does not suffer from the same side-effects as Warfarin, and additionally has been proven in clinical testing to be 34% more effective in reducing the risk of strokes in patients considered to be at risk. The drug, known as Pradaxa, has seen death rates reduced by 15%. These results come after three years of testing on more than 18,000 patients, over more than forty countries – the largest trial of its kind ever to be carried out.