Aspirin is not effective in the primary prevention of stroke. Patients with TIA or ischemic stroke carry a risk of recurrent stroke between 5 and 20% per year. In patients with TIA or ischemic stroke of noncardiac origin antiplatelet drugs are able to decrease the risk of stroke by 11-15% and the risk of stroke, MI and vascular death by 15-22%. Aspirin is the most widely used drug. It is affordable and effective. Low doses of 50-325 mg aspirin are as effective as high doses and cause less gastrointestinal side effects. Severe bleeding complications are dose-dependent. The combination of aspirin with slow release dipyridamole is superior to aspirin alone for stroke prevention. Clopidgrel is superior to aspirin in patients at high risk of recurrence. The combination of aspirin plus clopidogrel is not more effective than clopidogrel alone but carries a higher bleeding risk. None of the antiplatelet agents is able to reduce mortality.
Keywords: myocardial infarction, dipyridamole, Hypertension, aspirin, transient ischemic attacks
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