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Plavix warning may not be necessary
December 27th, 2011
06:07 PM ET

Plavix warning may not be necessary

The popular blood-thinner Plavix is a safe and effective medication for patients, including those deemed to be "poor metabolizers" of the drug, says an analysis released today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The findings contradict the 2010 boxed warning that the Food and Drug Administration mandated be placed on the drug's label.

If you're one of the approximately 40 million people worldwide taking Plavix (known generically as clopidogrel), you're probably familiar with the warning. The label cautions that the drug has "diminished effectiveness in poor metabolizers", or patients with a certain genotype, known as CYP2C19, and thus may lead to an increase in cardiovascular events like heart disease, stroke, or bleeding. To help decide if Plavix is a good fit for patients, the label says genetic tests are available to identify people with the genotype in question.
FULL POST


Tests for biomarker may diagnose heart attack within hours
December 27th, 2011
04:06 PM ET

Tests for biomarker may diagnose heart attack within hours

One of the most common reasons people go to the emergency room is for serious chest pains. Time is crucial when someone is having a heart attack.  If doctors don't make a diagnosis quickly, it can mean the difference between life and death.

Now, there may be a new tool to help ER doctors make a quicker diagnosis.  A new highly sensitive test can detect troponin, a protein in the muscle tissue, according to new research in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).  According to cardiologists, the higher the levels of troponin, the more likely it is a person will have a heart attack. If tropin isn't present, the likelihood of a heart attack is much smaller.

Researchers say this new test could also help physicians monitor patients who present with chest pains but no heart attack symptoms in the hours after being admitted to the hospital. FULL POST


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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