Canadian study shows new benefits

A study led by the Montreal Heart Institute on a new treatment for acute coronary syndromes demonstrates how the drug tirofiban further reduces deaths and heart attacks by almost 50 per cent, when used with the current “gold standard” procedures to treat the disease.

Dr. Pierre Théroux, cardiologist at the Montreal Heart Institute, authored the study, which shows that tirofiban (combined with aspirin and heparin) reduces mortality and heart attacks by 47 per cent at the seven-day mark, in patients admitted to hospitals with unstable angina. Benefits were maintained at the 30-day and six-month marks.

Patients with unstable angina risk sudden death or a non-fatal heart attack, and usually require emergency hospitalization — often involving urgent coronary angioplasty or bypass surgery. According to Dr. Théroux, the study is a milestone in the treatment of unstable angina, and shows that tirofiban has a clear and powerful impact on the disease’s devastating consequences. Tirofiban was discovered by Merck & Co. Inc., and is currently being reviewed by the Health Protection Branch of Health Canada.