Doctors test new way to regulate warfarin dose

Posted by Jai Bloggers Thursday, February 19, 2009

A new system for predicting the proper dose of the blood thinner warfarin could help doctors do a better job of preventing dangerous blood clots and serious bleeding, researchers reported on WednesdaySome patients needed more than twice te weekly dose than others did, the study showed, and the new test better predicted who needed more and who needed less.blood clots. But too high a dose and a patient can bleed to death, while too low a dose can cause strokes or heart attacks as clots form.

The international research team led by Dr. Teri Klein of Stanford University in California took clinical and genetic information from 4,043 patients to create a computer algorithm predicting who would need a higher or lower dose.

The new approach is called pharmacogenetics -- using patient's genetic variations to predict their response to drugs.

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers said they tested this algorithm in 1,009 other people.

ited States each year and repeated testing to assess clotting time is needed to find the right dose. safest dose for one person may be 10 times higher than the best dose for someone else.

The National Institutes of Health is about to launch a large-scale test with 1,200 volunteers to see if the new system works better.

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