A new anti-clotting drug to treat patients with an irregular heartbeat could help to prevent strokes and minimise bleeding in the brain.
Researchers at the Royal Perth Hospital and University of Western Australia tested the drug rivaroxaban in patients with atrial fibrillation - a condition that puts people at a five times greater risk of stroke.
Participants in the study who had no history of heart valve damage were found to be 34 per cent less likely to experience a stroke after receiving rivaroxaban it was found.
Dr Graeme J Hankey, lead author of the study, commented: "Anticoagulant drugs can prevent ischemic strokes, but paradoxically, they can cause intracranial bleeding, including hemorrhagic strokes."
Rivaroxaban can simultaneously treat atrial fibrillation while preventing hemorrhagic strokes.
The drug is also used to provide a simple, effective, single-drug approach for both short-term and continued long-term treatment of deep vein thrombosis.
What's more, rivaroxaban can be administered in one oral dose, improving drug efficiency for patients.
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