Could Allergy Meds Prevent Blood Clots?
A new study suggests that common allergy medicines could help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a dangerous condition in which a blood clot forms — usually in lower-leg veins — often as a result of prolonged immobility. The study, which was funded by the British Heart Foundation and conducted at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, was published in Circulation Research.
Researchers discovered that mice that were genetically depleted of mast cells, immune cells that play a role in allergic reactions, have protection against developing DVT. The next step is to confirm the findings in humans by testing blood samples of people with and without DVT to see if they have activated mast cells. If the study results are confirmed, the researchers hope to begin clinical trials using mast cell inhibitors like cromolyn and nedocromil, which are used to treat allergies and asthma, to ward off DVT.
If successful, allergy medications could provide an effective alternative for people with DVT who are at increased risk for pulmonary embolism—a life-threatening condition that occurs when a blood clot travels to the lungs and blocks a blood vessel. Current treatment for DVT involves blood thinners, which raise abnormal bleeding risk.