Study: Two-drug combination helpful in preventing stroke

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A new study shows that pairing aspiring with a clot-preventing drug is better at reducing the risk of stroke than aspirin alone.

European researchers studied 107 patients who had suffered either a stroke or a transient ischemic attack or "mini-stroke" within three months of the study.  Participants were given clopidogrel and aspirin or aspirin alone for seven days.

Researchers were able to detect blood clots in only 44% of the 51 people who took both clopidogrel and aspirin, but detected clots in 73% of the 56 people who received just aspirin. Clot formation could be a warning of a major stroke.

While the study was small and of short duration, researchers concluded that clopidogrel (marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb under the name Plavix) combined with aspirin therapy successfully reduced the formation of the threatening blood clots found in people at very high risk of stroke. The study report was published in the April 26 online issue of Circulation.