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Future Cardiol. 2009 May;5(3):247-58. doi: 10.2217/fca.09.10.

Update on oral antiplatelet therapy: principles, problems and promises.

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Department of Cardiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Brendstrupgaardsvej 100, Aarhus N 8200, Denmark.


Platelets are major players in arterial thrombosis, and antiplatelet therapy has a clear clinical benefit in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular events. In particular, aspirin and clopidogrel have become cornerstones in the treatment of patients with atherothrombosis. However, despite the proven efficacy of antiplatelet drugs, cardiovascular events remain an important cause of morbidity and mortality in these patients. Furthermore, a considerable variability in platelet reactivity during treatment with established oral antiplatelet therapy has prompted the search for novel drugs against platelet-dependent thrombosis. Possible benefits of upcoming drugs include a more efficient platelet inhibition and a reversible effect on platelet function. Aspirin, clopidogrel, prasugrel, ticagrelor, terutroban, E5555, SCH 530348 and cilostazol are discussed. This review highlights the rationale for important oral antiplatelet drugs in development and provides clinical perspectives on their pharmacological advantages and challenges.

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