Categorized | National News

New Drug For Strokes

A new drug will now be made available in The Bahamas that will help prevent strokes and blood clotting.

The drug, Xarelto (Rivaroxaban), was officially launched by Bayer Health Care Company in the Imperial Ballroom at the Atlantis Resort yesterday.

The Xarelto pack costs $180 and contains 30 tablets.

It is the world’s most prescribed new oral anticoagulant in the orthopaedic setting, with almost two million patients.

Dr. Conville Brown, a heart specialist, said the drug is “heaven sent” as it will help medical professionals in The Bahamas as well as patients.

“We are seeing people coming in with strokes between three to five times a week and that is mostly among young people,” he said.

“Because of this we find that more people are at risk and falling prey to heart ailments that could be prevented if treated properly and with care. People need to treat their blood pressure ailment, they need to not smoke, they need to exercise, eat healthy and the diseases can be prevented but if something does happen this new drug can assist.”

Dr. Brown said once a person has had a stroke, he or she has already damaged his or her brain.

“We are trying to prevent strokes from happening on the whole,” he said.

“These strokes can be devastating because then you will have a person who can have a stroke and is the breadwinner in the family and then you have that same person totally incapacitated. Someone has to feed them, change them and put them to bed and there are adverse effects of that, so this drug will be particularly important with helping patients at risk and helping them from getting to the catastrophic stage of a stroke.”

Dr. A.G. Turpie, a professor at McMaster University, who conducted a study on the drug before it was officially put on the market, said one of the good things about it is that everybody will respond the same way to it.

“If I have 20 people and I give each one of them one pill they get the same effect,” he said.

“With older drugs you get different effects and more tests have to be done. This takes the world of pharmacology to another level. Rivaroxaban is a pill that can be taken by mouth at a fixed dose without the requirement of coagulation tests. It has very little interaction with food as well so that is a good thing.”

He added that another benefit is that the drug has a low risk of drug-drug interactions.

The drug is approved in more than 110 countries worldwide and is marketed outside the United States by Bayer Health Care.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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