Fears that an anti-clotting drug to treat heart attacks may not be effective on younger patients with a particular genetic variation have been partially eased.
Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, was addressing finding published in The Lancet suggesting that Clopidogrel is less effective on people under 45 years of age.
He said: “Clopidogrel is an effective drug with proven benefits for patients with coronary heart disease. But this study suggests that there may be some young heart-attack victims whose genetic make up renders them somewhat resistant to its beneficial anti-clotting effects.
“However, most people taking Clopidogrel should not be concerned and should certainly not stop taking the drug. This is an early example of where a genetic test may be able to determine which drug is best suited for a particular individual.
“Further research is needed to confirm the findings of this study and to establish how best to improve anti-clotting treatment in those few patients in whom it could be a problem. There are newer anti-clotting drugs entering the market that might provide a solution. ”
Copyright Press Association 2008