The Food and Drug Administration has granted approval for the next-generation anticlotting medication Eliquis, the regulator announced in a news release. The drug, administered in the form of a pill, is used to reduce stroke risk and fight clotting in patients with atrial fibrillation. This is a common variety of abnormal heart rhythm.
The new drug is seen as a replacement for wafarin, the current standard treatment for the disorder. It is difficult to determine the precise dose for wafarin, however, and the side effects can be extreme.
It is estimated that over 3 million people in the U.S. and around 8 million throughout the world suffer from atrial fibrillation. It is one of the top causes of stroke.