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Cilostazol may be safer than aspirin for post-stroke
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The anti-platelet drug cilostazol is as effective as aspirin at preventing recurrent stroke and appears to be linked to fewer bleeding events, a study in China has shown.

Published in the online version of The Lancet Neurology Monday, the study suggests that cilostazol could be a safer alternative to aspirin for post-stroke patients, who seem to be at higher risk of cerebral haemorrhage, according to previous studies.

Anti-platelet drugs have an "anti-clotting" effect and long-term, low doses may prevent heart attacks and blood clot formation in people at high risk for developing blood clots.

In the study, 719 patients around the age of 60 were divided into two groups, with the first given cilostazol and the second given aspirin for 12 to 18 months. Twelve patients in the cilostazol group suffered subsequent stroke, compared to 20 people in the aspirin group. Brain bleeding was detected in 1 patient in the cilostazol group versus 7 in the aspirin group.

While the researchers said cilostazol appeared to be more effective and a safer alternative to aspirin for patients for a larger clinical trial. Manufactured by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., cilostazol is known by its brand name Pletal.

In China, stroke is the second leading cause of death, with about 7 million people affected.

(Agencies via Xinhua News Agency May 5, 2008)

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