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Drugs. 2000 Aug;60(2):347-77.

Clopidogrel: a review of its use in the prevention of atherothrombosis.

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Adis International Limited, Mairangi Bay, Auckland, New Zealand.

Erratum in

  • Drugs 2001;61(1):52.


Clopidogrel is an ADP receptor antagonist that is indicated for the reduction of atherosclerotic events including myocardial infarction, ischaemic stroke and vascular death in patients with atherosclerosis manifested by recent stroke, myocardial infarction or established peripheral vascular disease. In the 19 185 patients enrolled in the multicentre, randomised double-blind CAPRIE study, the annual risk of the combined end-point of ischaemic stroke, myocardial infarction and death from vascular disease (vascular death) was significantly lower during treatment with clopidogrel 75 mg/day than aspirin 325 mg/day [5.3 vs 5.8%/year, respectively; relative risk reduction (RRR) 8.7%, p = 0.043] after a mean follow-up of 1.9 years. Clopidogrel provided even greater reductions in the risk of recurrent ischaemic events than aspirin in patients with a history of coronary artery bypass surgery, diabetes mellitus and in those receiving concomitant lipid-lowering therapy. Moreover there was a significant reduction in the incidence of hospitalisation in patients treated with clopidogrel. In a patient population (Saskatchewan, Canada) with a greater risk of ischaemic events than the CAPRIE study population, the number of patients needed to be treated with clopidogrel to prevent 1 ischaemic event was estimated to be 70 (vs 200 in the CAPRIE study). In randomised trials and registry surveys, clopidogrel 75 mg/day plus aspirin had similar efficacy (as measured by adverse cardiac outcomes) to ticlopidine 250mg twice daily plus aspirin during the 30 days after placement of intracoronary stents. Tolerability of clopidogrel was significantly better than ticlopidine in the randomised, double-blind CLASSICS study. Among patients treated with clopidogrel or aspirin in the CAPRIE study, the overall gastrointestinal tolerability of clopidogrel was generally better than that of aspirin; the frequency of gastrointestinal haemorrhage was significantly lower among patients treated with clopidogrel than aspirin. Diarrhoea, rash and pruritus were significantly more common with clopidogrel than aspirin.


Clopidogrel was significantly more effective than aspirin in the prevention of vascular events (ischaemic stroke, myocardial infarction or vascular death) [corrected] in patients with atherothrombotic disease manifested by recent myocardial infarction, recent ischaemic stroke or symptomatic peripheral arterial occlusive disease [corrected] in the CAPRIE study. The overall tolerability profile of the drug was similar to that of aspirin, although gastrointestinal haemorrhage occurred significantly less often in clopidogrel recipients. The drug is widely used in combination with aspirin for the prevention of atherothrombosis after placement of intravascular stents, and available data suggest that this combination is as effective as ticlopidine plus aspirin for this indication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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