Drug cuts stroke risk in AF by 34%

Taking the anti-arrhythmia drug dronedarone could cut the risk of suffering a stroke by 34 per cent among AF patients, according to the findings of an international study.

Dronedarone, a novel multi-channel blocking drug, was first tested among patients with AF in the Athena trial conducted last year.

The trial involved 4,628 patients with AF who were randomly assigned to receive dronedronate (400mg daily) or placebo for 21 months.

The drug was found to reduce the risk of death and hospitalisation from AF by 24 per cent and the risk of all-cause death by 16 per cent compared with placebo.

This study is a further analysis of the Athena trial which focused on whether the drug could lower the risk of stroke.

Previous studies have so far failed to show that the use of anti-arrhythmic drugs can lower stroke risk in AF patients.

Study researcher Dr Christian Torp-Pedersen, from the University of Copenhagen, told delegates in Stockholm that the findings had been positive.

'Dronedarone was found to reduce the risk of stroke by 34 per cent,' he said.

'This reduction occurs in patients already receiving usual antithrombotic therapy.'

Dr Pedersen added that the findings were consistent among higher risk patients with different risk factors.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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