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Heart Beat: Safety of bypass drug questioned

Updated: May 01, 2006

Heart Beat

Safety of bypass drug questioned

Are you headed for bypass surgery sometime soon? If so, ask your surgeon if he or she plans to use a clotting drug called Trasylol (aprotinin). Two reports suggest that you'd be better off with a safer and cheaper alternative.

Just before bypass surgery, surgeons often administer drugs that increase blood's natural clotting ability. These drugs can minimize blood loss and prevent the need for a transfusion. The choices include two generic drugs, aminocaproic acid and tranexamic acid, and Trasylol. Since it was approved in 1993, Trasylol has been used in thousands of bypass operations.

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