A CHANCE result for an older drug preventing strokes or will a US study make the POINT?
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It’s always valuable when older medicines are studied in new situations. The CHANCE (Clopidogrel in High-Risk Patients with Acute Nondisabling Cerebrovascular Events) study results were made public at the International Stroke Conference and showed value for Plavix (clopidogrel) PLUS aspirin in helping prevent strokes.

CHANCE is intriguing because it studied people immediately after they suffered a mini stroke (TIA or Transient Ischemic Attack). People tend to disregard these events and may even delay care although their brains are at risk. These symptoms are nothing short of a brain attack and the lead author (Dr. S. Claiborne Johnson) expressed the need to go to the emergency room quickly when symptoms appear. Some clinicians commented on the fact that the CHANCE study was done entirely in China, and wanted confirmation from additional studies—yet the results from this combination of medicines were strong and the benefits were gained without a significant increase in major bleeding in this large study.

Making the POINT on this CHANCE trial will be a US study known as Platelet-Oriented Inhibition in New TIA and Stroke (POINT) which is now enrolling people. Readers can find more information about POINT by visiting www.clinicaltrials.gov. As always, it is crucial to talk to your doctor about your heart disease and stroke risk factors BEFORE you have any signs or symptoms of a heart attack, TIA or stroke.

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