Antiplatelet medicines for peripheral arterial disease

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Antiplatelet medicines for peripheral arterial disease

Examples

Generic NameBrand Name
abciximabReoPro
ASA with dipyridamoleAggrenox
clopidogrelPlavix
ticlopidine 
tirofibanAggrastat

How It Works

Antiplatelets work in various ways to prevent blood clots.

Why It Is Used

These medicines may be used instead of ASA (which is also an antiplatelet medicine) or after a person has had a procedure (such as bypass surgery, atherectomy, or angioplasty) performed on a blood vessel.

How Well It Works

These medicines can prevent the formation of blood clots in people who have peripheral arterial disease (PAD).1 Antiplatelet medicines may help lower the risk of heart attack and stroke in people who have PAD.

Side Effects

Some side effects of these antiplatelet medicines may include:

  • Stomach irritation.
  • Bleeding in the stomach or intestines.
  • Allergic reaction.
  • Increased bruising.
  • Bleeding (hemorrhage) in the brain or other internal organs.
  • Lowered numbers of blood cells.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

All antiplatelet medicines increase the risk of bleeding.

The best dosage and length of treatment with these medicines is still under study.

Clopidogrel does not work as well as it should in some people, because their bodies do not break down the drug properly. If your doctor thinks that your body is not using clopidogrel properly, he or she may give you a genetic test. This test checks to see if you have genes that let your body use clopidogrel. If you have concerns about clopidogrel, talk to your doctor. Do not stop taking clopidogrel unless your doctor tells you to.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF) (What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

References

Citations

  1. Tran H, Anand SS, (2004). Oral antiplatelet therapy in cerebrovascular disease, coronary artery disease, and peripheral arterial disease. JAMA, 292 (15): 1867–1874.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery
Last Revised March 29, 2010

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.