July 17, 2019 – Two Medicines


Anchor lead: Do you need two different medicines if you have a stent placed in your heart? Elizabeth Tracey reports

When stents are placed in the heart’s blood vessels, medicines called antiplatelet drugs are used to prevent blood clot formation. Now a new study shows that for many, the traditional two medicine approach after stent placement may not be needed. Michael Blaha, a preventive cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Blaha: It used to be considered standard of care that you had to be on two different antiplatelet drugs, aspirin and another drug, for at least twelve months after stent placement, but we’re now realizing that there are groups of patients that may not need to stay on dual antiplatelet therapy as long, may need to have a course of aspirin let’s say three or six months, and then continue on another antiplatelet drug alone for an extended period of time to prevent that stent from creating blood clots.  :25

Blaha says the big advantage to dropping the aspirin is that aspirin is known to increase bleeding risk. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.