MONDAY, June 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Kengreal (cangrelor) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent blood clots from forming during angioplasty.
Angioplasty involves inflating a balloon inside a clogged artery to improve blood flow. This is typically followed by insertion of a stent, a small mesh tube designed to keep the artery open.
Some 500,000 people in the United States have the procedure -- medically called percutaneous coronary intervention -- annually, the FDA said in a news release. Formation of a blood clot during the procedure could lead to heart attack.
As with any anti-clotting drug, life-threatening bleeding is a potential side effect, the agency noted.
In clinical trials, Kengreal was compared to the anti-clotting drug Plavix (clopidogrel) among more than 10,000 participants. Cases of serious bleeding, while still rare, were more common among users who took Kengreal than Plavix, the FDA said.
Kengreal is manufactured by The Medicines Co., based in Parsippany, N.J.
Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to learn more.