(CHICAGO) -- A new pill has been found to be as effective -- with less observations and restrictions -- as the standard drug used for over six decades to prevent strokes in older patients with atrial fibrillation.
According to a clinical trial, the new drug rivaroxaban, marketed as Xarelto, is as good as Coumadin, the blood-thinning drug that has been prescribed for over 60 years. But unlike Coumadin, patients using Xarelto are not required to undergo frequent blood tests or follow restrictive diets, making the drug more patient-friendly.
The results, presented at an American Heart Association meeting in Chicago, found that the new drug was just as effective as the old one when taken once daily. Xarelto is expected to obtain an approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the upcoming months.
Estimates show that over two million Americans have atrial fibrillation, 15 percent of whom will suffer a stroke.
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio