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Category: Pharmacy | Monthly Briefing

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November 2012 Briefing - Pharmacy

Last Updated: December 03, 2012.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pharmacy for November 2012. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Cabozantinib Active in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

FRIDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The orally bioavailable tyrosine kinase inhibitor cabozantinib (XL184) has clinical activity in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), according to a study published online Nov. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Cometriq Approved for Medullary Thyroid Cancer

FRIDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Cometriq (cabozantinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat metastatic medullary thyroid cancer, the agency said Thursday.

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Model Predicts Flu Season Peak Seven Weeks in Advance

FRIDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Using a technique commonly applied in weather prediction, peaks of influenza season can be predicted seven weeks in advance, according to a study published online Nov. 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Aspirin Use Cuts Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For men and women aged 50 to 71, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), particularly aspirin, is associated with a reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and death due to chronic liver disease (CLD), according to a study published online Nov. 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Abstract
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Orexin Receptor Antagonist Improves Sleep in Insomnia

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A new drug, the orexin receptor antagonist suvorexant, improves sleep in healthy adults with insomnia, according to a study published online Nov. 28 in Neurology.

Abstract
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Political Leaders Face Voter Opposition to Medicare Cuts

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of those who voted for President Obama in the 2012 election favor implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while those who voted for Republican officeholders are likely to oppose parts or all of the implementation of the ACA; both sides oppose cuts to Medicare as a means to balance the budget, according to an analysis of newly released polls published as a Special Report online Nov. 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cigarette Tax Would Cost Federal Government in Long Term

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A theoretical additional federal excise tax on cigarettes would lead to greater federal outlays over time because of the population's increased longevity, according to a perspective piece published in the Nov. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Digoxin Found to Increase Mortality in A-Fib Patients

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Digoxin is linked with a significant increase in mortality in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), according to results from a study published online Nov. 27 in the European Heart Journal.

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Adding Fitness to Statin Rx Significantly Improves Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with dyslipidemia, the combination of statin treatment and increased fitness results in substantially lower mortality risk than either alone, according to a study published online Nov. 28 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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Study Confirms Waning Immunity With Time Post-Pertussis Vaccine

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The odds of contracting whooping cough increase with time since the final diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine dose, according to a study published in Nov. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Survival Benefit of Two Heart Failure Therapies Re-Examined

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Two observational studies examining the effectiveness of two heart failure therapies in clinical practice appear to contradict the results of randomized clinical trials, according to research published in the Nov. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract - Hernandez
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Abstract - Lund
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Warfarin D/C Within 180 Days Post-Surgery May Up Mortality

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who undergo bioprosthetic aortic valve replacement surgery and discontinue anticoagulant treatment within six months have a greater risk of cardiovascular death, according to a study published in the Nov. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Doc Earnings Growth Lags Behind Other Health Professionals

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with other health professionals, in the last 15 years there has been considerably less growth in the earnings of physicians in the United States, according to a research letter published in the Nov. 28 issue the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Growing Number of Drugs Possibly Inhibited by Grapefruit

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- There are increasing numbers of newly marketed drugs that have the potential to interact with grapefruit, all of which are metabolized by the cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme (CYP3A4), according to a review published online Nov. 26 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Zolpidem Linked to Increased Risk of Inpatient Falls

TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Zolpidem, a commonly used hypnotic drug, is independently associated with an increased risk of inpatient falls, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Abstract
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Ranbaxy Issues Recall of 41 Batches of Atorvastatin

MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., one of India's biggest pharmaceutical companies, has issued a voluntary recall for 41 batches of its generic version of atorvastatin calcium (Lipitor), with the full knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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List of Affected Batches

Hemorrhage Rates Highest Within 30 Days of Warfarin Tx

MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- For older patients with atrial fibrillation starting on warfarin, the rates of hemorrhage are highest within the first 30 days, according to a study published online Nov. 26 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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AAP Addresses Emergency Contraception for Teens

MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The importance of emergency contraception for preventing unintended pregnancy among teenagers is emphasized in a policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and published online Nov. 26 in Pediatrics.

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Regorafenib Efficacious in GI Malignant Disease

FRIDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with metastatic colorectal cancer or gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) who have progressed in spite of treatment, the multikinase inhibitor regorafenib may improve survival, according to the results of two phase 3 studies published online Nov. 22 in The Lancet.

Abstract - Grothey
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Abstract - Demetri
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Growth in Health Benefit Cost Per Employee Slowed in 2012

FRIDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In 2012, growth in the average total health benefit cost per employee slowed to 4.1 percent, according to the National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, published Nov. 14 by Mercer.

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ACOG Advises Over-the-Counter Access for Oral Contraceptives

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A potential way to improve access to and use of oral contraceptives, and possibly reduce unintended pregnancies, is by allowing over-the-counter access, according to a Committee Opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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For Patients With ADHD, Lower Criminality Rates With Med Use

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have lower criminality rates when they are medicated compared with non-medication periods, according to a study published in the Nov. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Nearly 40 Percent of Adults Take Dietary Supplements

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 40 percent of adults in the United States take dietary supplements such as fish oil, and most report that they would not stop taking them even if they were shown to be ineffective, according to a research letter published online Nov. 19 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Aspirin Resistance Ups Severity in Acute Ischemic Stroke

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute ischemic stroke, aspirin resistance is associated with increased stroke severity and infarct size, according to research published online Nov. 19 in the Archives of Neurology.

Abstract
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Just-Approved Flu Vaccine Uses Newer Production Method

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Flucelvax is the first seasonal flu vaccine to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration using a manufacturing method called cell culture technology, the agency said.

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Citicoline Not Effective for Traumatic Brain Injury

TUESDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- There is no significant improvement in either functional or cognitive status among patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) taking citicoline compared with placebo, according to a study published in the Nov. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract
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Pharmacies Often Still Dispense Meds Despite Discontinue Order

TUESDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Despite electronic discontinuation orders, pharmacies may continue to dispense medications and create potential for patient harm, including situations with high-risk dispensing events, according to research published in the Nov. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Testosterone Doesn't Add to Erectile Response With Sildenafil

MONDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- For men with erectile dysfunction and low testosterone levels, the addition of testosterone to sildenafil is not superior to sildenafil alone for improving erectile function, according to a study published in the Nov. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Personality Traits Explain Some of Placebo Analgesic Effect

MONDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- An individual's personality can explain a substantial portion of their placebo analgesic response, according to a study published online Nov. 16 in Neuropsychopharmacology.

Abstract
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Optimal Dose Suggested for Dasatinib in Ovarian Cancer

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A phase I trial of dasatinib combined with paclitaxel and carboplatin has determined the optimal dose of dasatinib and suggested some efficacy in women with advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer, according to research published in the Oct. 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Abstract
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Mental Illness, Job Stress Both Factors in Physician Suicides

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of mental illness or job problems may make physicians more vulnerable to suicide than non-physicians, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in General Hospital Psychiatry.

Abstract
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Ten-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Effective

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine containing 10 serotype-specific polysaccharides conjugated to Haemophilus influenza protein D, tetanus toxoid, and diphtheria toxoid as the carrier proteins (PHiD-CV10) is effective against invasive pneumococcal disease, including in infants using a 2+1 schedule, according to a study published online Nov. 16 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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Diltiazem Relieves Capecitabine-Induced Chest Pain

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Secondary prophylaxis with diltiazem may offer cancer patients relief from capecitabine-induced chest pain and dyspnea and allow them to tolerate capecitabine treatment, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Direct-to-Consumer Advertising Found Beneficial for Certain Meds

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of aromatase inhibitors (AIs) used in the treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women correlates with an increase in the number of appropriate prescriptions, with no effect on the number of inappropriate prescriptions, according to a study published online Nov. 6 in Cancer.

Abstract
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Study Provides Justification for L-DOPA in Angelman Syndrome

THURSDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with Angelman syndrome, a genetic neurodevelopmental disorder with motor impairments similar to Parkinson's disease, treatment with levodopa (L-DOPA) may help but may also have unexpected consequences, according to an experimental study published online Nov. 12 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Trastuzumab Ups Cardiac Risk for Older Women With Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- For older women with early-stage breast cancer, treatment with trastuzumab correlates with increased rates of heart failure and cardiomyopathy, according to a study published online Nov. 14 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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New Mechanism of Action Identified for PARP Inhibitors

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- PARP inhibitors trap PARP enzymes at damaged DNA, inducing cytotoxic complexes, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Cancer Research.

Abstract
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Venous Thromboembolism Risk Up With Cisplatin-Based Chemo

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced solid tumors receiving cisplatin-based chemotherapy regimens have a significantly higher risk of having a venous thromboembolic event (VTE) compared with those who do not receive a cisplatin-based regimen, according to research published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Efficacy of Corticosteroid Injection for Sciatica Reviewed

TUESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Epidural corticosteroid injections offer a small but significant degree of short-term relief of leg pain and disability for patients with sciatica, but the long-term effects are even smaller and not significant, according to a review published online Nov. 13 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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rhC1INH Cuts Attack Frequency in Hereditary Angioedema

THURSDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE), weekly administration of recombinant C1INH (rhC1INH) is well tolerated and is associated with a reduction in attack frequency, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in Allergy.

Abstract
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Xeljanz Approved for Rheumatoid Arthritis

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Xeljanz (tofacitinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) among people who can't tolerate, or haven't been helped by, the drug methotrexate.

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Statin Use at Cancer Diagnosis Linked to Lower Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with cancer, statin use prior to diagnosis correlates with reduced all-cause and cancer-related mortality, according to a study published in the Nov. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Study Compares Exenatide, Liraglutide for Type 2 Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with either glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist exenatide (once weekly) or liraglutide (once daily) leads to improvements in glycemic control, with greater improvement seen with liraglutide, according to a study published online Nov. 7 in The Lancet.

Abstract
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Guideline-Concordant Tx Cuts Mortality in Schizophrenia

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with schizophrenia, adherence to antipsychotic medications, as recommended by the 2009 Schizophrenia Patient Outcomes Research Team (PORT), correlates with reduced mortality, according to research published online Oct. 30 in the Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Abstract
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Triptorelin Doesn't Avert Early Ovarian Failure in Lymphoma

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of lymphoma patients with the gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) triptorelin plus norethisterone does not reduce the rate of chemotherapy-induced premature ovarian failure (POF), according to a study published online Nov. 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Sulfonylureas Up Cardio Events Versus Metformin

TUESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Use of sulfonylureas for initial treatment of diabetes is associated with increased cardiovascular events and death compared with metformin, according to a study published in the Nov. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Antirheumatic Drugs Have Minor Effect on Preeclampsia Risk

TUESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The use of a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) during pregnancy is rare and is associated with a nonsignificant increase in the risk for preeclampsia in women with autoimmune disease, according to a study published in the November issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Abstract
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FDA Approves Expanded Use of Xarelto

MONDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Approval of the anti-clotting drug Xarelto (rivaroxaban) has been expanded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to include treating deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), and to reduce the risk of recurrent DVT and PE following initial treatment.

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Teriparatide Ups Bone Union for Women With Osteoporosis

FRIDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Injections of teriparatide are more effective than oral bisphosphonate for bone union after instrumented lumbar posterolateral fusion in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.

Abstract
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Drug Combo Active in Breast Cancer With Brain Metastases

FRIDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Combination treatment of lapatinib plus capecitabine is active in some patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive metastatic breast cancer with progressive brain metastases, and warrants further study, according to a phase 2 study published online Nov. 2 in The Lancet Oncology.

Abstract
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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

NSAIDS Don't Affect C-Reactive Protein Levels in RA Patients

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Overall, oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do not have an effect on C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to research published in the November issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Abstract
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Combo Therapy Can Be First-Line Approach in Manic Episodes

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Combination therapy is an acceptable first-line approach for manic episodes in terms of efficacy and prevention of relapse, with an acceptable safety profile, according to a review published online Oct. 25 in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

Abstract
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Alemtuzumab Reduces Relapses in Relapsing-Remitting MS

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with the anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody alemtuzumab as first-line therapy for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), or for first-line therapy-refractory relapsing-remitting MS, correlates with reductions in both the relapse rate and in sustained accumulation of disability, according to two phase 3 studies published online Nov. 1 in The Lancet.

Abstract - Cohen
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Abstract - Coles
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Antidepressants Linked to Pregnancy Risks in Infertility Tx

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who treat infertile women should be aware of the potential risks associated with antidepressant use during pregnancy, and should consider alternative treatments such as some forms of counseling, according to a study published online Oct. 31 in Human Reproduction.

Abstract
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Anticoagulation Therapy Appears to Be Safe After TAVI

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- After transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) there is no increased risk of bleeding or other adverse outcomes for those patients who have an indication for anticoagulant therapy, according to a study published online Oct. 29 in The American Journal of Cardiology.

Abstract
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