Aug 21 (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Pfizer Inc on Thursday said U.S. regulators have approved an expanded use for their Eliquis blood clot preventer, to treat dangerous blood clots in the legs and lungs.
The drugmakers said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had also approved use of the pill to reduce risk of recurrent blood clots in the deep veins of the leg, called deep vein thrombosis, and in the lung, called pulmonary embolism. The clots, if untreated, can travel to the heart and brain and cause heart attacks and stroke.
Eliquis, which works by blocking a protein called Factor Xa that is involved in the clotting process, is already approved to prevent strokes in patients who have an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation. It is meant to be an alternative to warfarin, an older oral drug which comes with strict dietary restrictions and the need for frequent blood checks. (Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by James Dalgleish)