National guidelines on unstable angina, heart attack updates
A joint task force between the Practice Guidelines of the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association has released important new guidelines for treating unstable angina.
The updated national guidelines will help treat those who suffer from this common form of heart attack. Dr. Hani Jneid, an interventional cardiologist at the Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center, led the charge of medical professions who authored the new guidelines.
"Since the last update a year ago, the main addition is that medical professionals should consider Ticagrelor, an anti-platelet (blood-thinning) drug, as a treatment option in addition to other blood thinners already being used," said Jneid in a press release.
Ticagrelor received Food and Drug Administration approval in 2011. Jneid said in the release that the drug does have benefits, such as anti-clotting action, but also risks, such as bleeding, though he believes it is on equal footing with other blood-thinning drugs.
New recommendations released as part of the guidelines update include patients taking Prasugrel when unable to take aspirin; that patients undergoing invasive procedures should receive both aspirin and antiplatelet medication; anyone undergoing medical treatment should receive aspirin indefinitely and Clopidogrel or Ticagrelor for up to or at least 12 months; Ticagrelor should not be taken for five days prior to open-heart surgery; and the dose of aspirin taken while a patient is using Ticagrelor is 81 milligrams, the same amount as baby aspirin.
Unstable angina occurs when the heart does not receive enough blood flow and oxygen because of a partially blocked coronary.
The Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center is located at 2002 Holcombe Blvd., in Houston.
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