Best drug after stent placement?

Mayo Clinic has announced a new research effort to determine which medication is best after heart-stent placement.

More than 600,000 angioplasties are performed each year, according to Mayo's announcement. The best drug for an individual might hinge on that person's genetic makeup. But that's still not known for sure.

Researchers will consider whether use of the a patient's genotype can help prevent problems such as heart attack or stroke after angioplasty.

Current standard of care is a prescription of the drug clopidogrel for one year, regardless of a person's genetic makeup. But researchers want to see if patients will live longer if genetic makeup is tested before a drug is prescribed. Mayo is collaborating with a variety of cardiologists nationwide and in Canada and South Korea to find answers.

Plavix is "ineffective" until a liver enzyme metabolizes it in an active form. Alternative drugs don't require activation. But they come with their own potential risks and higher costs.

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