Brain bleeds reduced by dabigatran

The research was a re-analysis of data obtained in the RE-LY trial, which compared each of the drug’s effects on stroke risk in just over 18,000 patients with AF.

The rate of intracranial haemorrhage among the warfarin group was 0.76% per year, compared to 0.31% among those treated with dabigatran (150mg), and 0.23% with dabigatran (110mg).

There were also fewer fatal intracranial haemorrhages in the dabigatran groups (13 deaths with 150mg, 11 deaths with 110mg), compared to the warfarin group (32 deaths) over the two year follow-up period.

“Absolute rates at all sites and both fatal and traumatic intracranial haemorrhages were lower with dabigatran than with warfarin,” the authors said.

However, they also noted concerns that patients taking dabigatran “could have a worse prognosis” where haemorrhages did occur “because of the absence of a proven treatment to urgently reverse the antithrombotic effect