Emergency Clopidogrel Could Save Thousands Of Lives-46,000-Patient Heart Attack Trial Results

Adding the anti-platelet drug clopidogrel to aspirin for the emergency treatment of heart attacks could save thousands of lives a year worldwide and prevent thousands of repeat heart attacks and strokes, according to new research presented today (Wednesday 9 March) at the American College of Cardiology annual conference. The study also established that giving the beta-blocker metoprolol as an emergency treatment for heart attacks cuts the risks of repeat heart attacks and of ventricular fibrillation[1]. But, early use of beta-blocker treatment raises the risk of cardiac shock in the immediate aftermath of a heart attack, and these early benefits and hazards tend to cancel each other out. The findings are from the 45,852-patient COMMIT/CCS-2 randomised study[2] – the largest ever conducted in China and the second largest study of emergency heart attack treatment in the world. This five-year joint Chinese/British venture involving 1,250 hospitals was organised by the Fuwai Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China, and the Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU) of Oxford University, UK.

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