Follow-up to Canadian BART study confirms Trasylol risks

A report released yesterday underlines the danger of Trasylol (aprotinin), which was used for years to limit bleeding during surgery. Trasylol was taken off the market last year after U.S. tests indicated the drug posed a significantly higher risk of death as opposed to other anti-bleeding drugs.

The new study, as reported by, includes an examination of Trasylol use in 49 randomized clinical trials, and also includes new information from the Blood Conservation Using Antifibrinolytics in a Randomized Trial (BART) study, published earlier this year. The findings of the new study, which was conducted by Canadian and Australian reserachers, will be published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Trasylol had been used extensively since 1987, and was only pulled from the U.S. market by manufacturer Bayer in November 2007. It seems incredible that a product that recent tests have proved significantly more dangerous than other similar drugs could have flown under the radar for 20 years.

The BART study revealed that patients treated with Trasylol were 53 percent more likely to die than patients treated with similar drugs. The study compared Trasylol (aprotinin) with two other drugs, Cyklokapron (tranexamic acid) and Amicar (aminocaproic acid).

The new Canadian-Australian study confirms the BART results, saying Trasylol carries a higher risk of death, and, to add insult to injury, a significantly higher price tag than its alternatives.

According to the Forbes report, some of the blame for Trasylol‘s longevity in the marketplace is being placed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.