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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2005 May;6(5):755-64.

Clopidogrel for the secondary prevention of stroke.

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Department of Neurology, University Essen, Germany.


Patients suffering a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or ischaemic stroke (IS) have a high risk of recurrence. The inhibition of platelet function is effective in the reduction of secondary vascular events in patients with TIA or stroke. This is true for acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), clopidogrel, ticlopidine and the combination of ASA plus slow-release dipyridamole. This overview analyses the results of recent trials and presents ongoing or future trials with clopidogrel as well as the combination of clopidogrel plus ASA. Clopidogrel is superior to ASA in the prevention of vascular events in patients with IS, myocardial infarction (MI) or peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The difference is highest for high-risk patients such as diabetics, patients who underwent coronary bypass surgery and patients with a remote prior history of ischaemic events. A prediction model is presented which allows the identification of patients in whom clopidogrel is superior to ASA for the secondary prevention of stroke. The combination of clopidogrel and ASA is better than ASA alone in patients undergoing coronary stent implantations and patients with unstable angina or non-Q-wave MI. In high-risk patients with TIA or stroke, the addition of ASA to clopidogrel is not superior to ASA monotherapy but results in a higher rate of bleeding complications. The long-term combination therapy is currently investigated in several large trials in > 30,000 patients, with a large number of stroke patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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