(NEW YORK) -- A new Italian study finds that the new anti-clotting drug apixaban (Eliquis) may help prevent potentially fatal blood clots in patients with deep vein thrombosis, Health Day reports.
People who suffer from venous thromboembolism are inclined to develop blood clots in their legs, which can be dangerous and even fatal if they break loose and travel to the heart, brain or lungs. Patients with DVT currently take a drug called warfarin, which is effective but carries the risk of major bleeding, sometimes fatal, Health Day says.
Nearly 2,500 patients in the study were given either 2.5 milligrams of apixaban twice daily, 5mg of apixaban twice daily or an inactive placebo. Researchers found that both doses of apixaban reduced the risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism by roughly 80 percent, compared to the placebo. And while major bleeding was similar for those taking the drug and those taking the placebo, both doses of apixaban reduced the risk of stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular-related death, according to Health Day.
The findings were published online in the New England Journal of Medicine on Dec. 8.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio