Dual anti-platelet therapy remains a cornerstone in the management of patients suffering from acute coronary syndromes (ACS). The combination of aspirin and clopidogrel has been shown to result in significant reductions in cardiovascular end points including recurrent infarction and death in several randomised control trial of patients with ACS. However, many patients still experience ischaemic events on the combination of aspirin and clopidogrel. Aspirin is a relatively weak anti platelet agent. Clopidogrel is a pro drug that required activation by hepatic metabolism and hence its onset of action is delayed; there is genetic variation in the clinical response to the drug, the platelet inhibition is irreversible and no intravenous form is available. Consequently new anti-platelet agents have been developed to address the short falls of this combination therapy. This paper discusses existing anti-platelet regimes and focuses on novel antiplatelet agents that are currently under clinical evaluation.
Keywords: Acute coronary syndrome, aspirin, clopidogrel, prasugrel, ticagrelor, cangrelor, elinogrel, vorapaxar, atopaxar
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