Patients take blood thinning medication for a variety of reasons. Some patients are at risk for blood clots that have known coronary blockage(s), diabetes or congestive heart failure. Trials to demonstrate safety and protective action of blood thinners for patients considered to be high risk with FDA approved blood thinners are underway.
Some patients require more than one blood thinning agent for different medical reasons – temporary antiplatelet (blood thinning) regimen after coronary stent placement and a different blood thinner for stroke prevention secondary to rhythm abnormalities (atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter). Trials are underway to determine if aspirin increases bleeding risk in patients who need more than one blood thinning medicine for protection against stroke and stent protection.
Heart Failure: New therapies and devices are being developed to improve the heart’s pumping action which is weakened and compromised in patients with “heart failure,” also referred to as “congestive heart failure”.
- PARAGON ~ This study investigates a new medicine “Entresto,” recently approved by the FDA for patients with reduced heart function / ejection fraction (EF). This trial investigates Entresto for heart failure patients with moderate or preserved heart function. In earlier clinical trials, Entresto showed improved outcomes, reduction in heart failure hospitalizations and improved survival.
- PARACHUTE ~ The “parachute” is a partition device for patients with severe heart failure, that walls off the weak non-pumping area of left ventricle. This device has been approved for use in Europe. The goal is to support the functioning part of the left heart, reduce heart failure symptoms, improve pumping action, slow disease progression and improve quality of life.
Patients with high cholesterol and history of coronary disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity are at higher risk for cardiovascular events (heart attack, stroke, hospitalization and death). Studies have set new goals for LDL levels, some cholesterol medicines cannot achieve these LDL levels and some patients cannot tolerate certain cholesterol lowering medicines.
New medicines that dramatically reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and help the body to remove cholesterol deposits from blood vessels are being studied. The goal is to reduce LDL, reduce cholesterol build up in the coronary vessels and improve overall heart health. Ongoing studies with new cholesterol lowering medicines and cholesterol “clearing” medicines include:
- IV (intravenous) medicine given over several outpatient infusions to reduce blockage in coronary vessel for patients that have had a recent hospitalization with angiogram.
- Injectable medicine that helps the body remove bad cholesterol for patients at risk for cardiac events.
- Oral medicines that improve healthy cholesterol (HDL) levels allowing the body to remove cholesterol.