Thursday, March 31, 2005


Aspirin better than rat poison for stroke patients

A national study found that aspirin worked just as well as warfarin, a common anticlotting drug, in stroke patients with narrowed brain arteries. More than 500 patients at 59 sites across the country were studied.

"This trial is good news. A simple low-cost drug works just as well as one that requires complicated and expensive monitoring and dose adjustments," said Dr. John Marler. Marler is the associate director for clinical trials at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, which sponsored the research study.

Participants who took warfarin, which is marketed as Coumadin, suffered a higher death rate and more major bleeding compared to those who took aspirin.

Warfarin also used to be marketed as “D-CON”, until the rats developed a resistance to it. Yep, warfarin is rat poison. It worked by causing the rats and mice to bleed to death.

The study appears in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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