American Heart Association Journal Brief
DALLAS, Antiplatelet agents may improve the outlook for heart attack and stroke patients, according to researchers in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Antiplatelet drugs are recognized for their ability to reduce the occurrence of, and death from, vascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. Aspirin is currently considered to be the "reference standard" antiplatelet agent, and is recommended by the American Heart Association for use in patients with a wide range of cardiovascular disease. Clopidogrel, another antiplatelet agent, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for many of the same indications as aspirin.
Since physicians are faced with deciding whether to switch from the well-established practice of recommending aspirin for patients, the drugs have been compared with respect to their relative efficacy, safety, cost and convenience.
Based on available evidence, aspirin is preferred for the majority of stroke or myocardial infarction (heart attack) patients at risk of recurrences.
Clopidogrel may provide valuable therapeutic benefit over aspirin in patients with peripheral arterial disease, and in stroke or myocardial infarction patients for whom aspirin treatment is contraindicated or for whom aspirin fails to achieve a therapeutic benefit.