“Definitive trial” needed to confirm desmopressin’s potential in ICH patients receiving antiplatelets


The results of a clinical trial have shown that a drug commonly used for patients with bleeding disorders has the potential to lessen the side-effects of blood-thinning drugs in stroke patients.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham (Nottingham, UK) and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Oxford, UK) assessed the suitability of desmopressin for use in larger trials to help reduce the number of people who die or are disabled after suffering an intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH).

The results from the DASH trial—which was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)—have been published in The Lancet Neurology. DASH is a UK-based, phase 2, randomised, placebo-controlled, multicentre feasibility trial.

Patients from 10 hospitals across the UK who had suffered an ICH while taking antiplatelet drugs took part in the clinical trial. One group of patients was given desmopressin while a second group was given a ‘dummy drug’.

“Intracerebral haemorrhage for people taking antiplatelet drugs leads to thousands of deaths every year,” said Michael Desborough (Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK), a co-author of the recent paper. “Unfortunately, at present, there are no treatments available. The results of the DASH trial are an important step towards assessing whether desmopressin might reduce the high risk of death or disability from intracerebral haemorrhage worldwide.”

“Whether desmopressin reduces the number of people who die or are disabled after intracerebral haemorrhage is an important question to answer,” added Nikola Sprigg (University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK), who was also involved in the study. “These findings support the need for a definitive, large-scale trial to determine if desmopressin improves outcomes in patients with intracerebral haemorrhage on antiplatelet drug therapy.”


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