Heart(y) news, 28 January



MEDICAL DEVICES

First bioabsorbable stent approved in Europe
Absorb everolimus-eluting bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS) stent is the first bioabsorbable stent to be in the market. The stent manufactured by Abbott “utilizes a poly-L-lactide polymer and is indicated for the treatment of coronary artery disease.” Absorb has been approved for the European market.

Nearly a quarter of ICD implants are not recommended by professional guidelines
Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are mean to save lives and recommended by many clinical guidelines. Unfortunately, many ICD implant procedure do not meet guidelines specifications and were found to be increase risk for in-hospital complications.

HEART DRUGS

Merck stops vorapaxar in stroke patients, closes out TRACER trial
Trials testing the investigational cardiovascular drug vorapaxar has run into problems. The data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) had recommended that the drug should be contraindicated in subjects with a history of stroke due to potential increased risk in intracranial hemorrhage.

FDA Alert: Multaq (dronedarone) and Risk of Severe Liver
TFDA has issued a safety communication regarding the antiarrhythmic drug dronedarone (Multaq). The drug was linked to several cases of rare but severe liver problems, two of which necessitated liver transplantation. The manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis has informed health care professionals about the risk but claims that causal association has yet to be established. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are has expressed a need to update product info on dronedarone as precautionary measure.

CCB/macrolide antibiotic combo ups risk of hypotension
Millions of people are using calcium-channel blockers (CCBs) for treatment of hypertension, angina and arrhythmia. Many of them may also be prescribed macrolide antibiotics for infections. However, these 2 classes of drugs which are effective and safe can cause toxicity when combined. The dangerous drug-drug interaction especially concerns the use of the antibiotics erythromycin or clarithromycin together with CCBs which can result in hypotension.

SHARING EXPERIENCE

Finally I got this through email:

Seeking patients to share their rehab experiences

The American Heart Association is working with international design consultancy IDEO (www.ideo.com) to design a better cardiac rehab experience for patients. We are interested in speaking to several patients in the Greater Boston area for in-home visits to talk about their rehab experiences, after an event such as a heart attack or heart procedure.

Visits would take place in the participant’s home, will be conducted by 2-3 IDEO designers and AHA employees, and will last 1.5 hours. Each participant will be compensated $150 for their time. If interested, please complete our online survey linked here. All responses will be kept confidential.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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