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Volume 3 May 2006 Number 3

An Exclusive Continuing Education Publication of Acadiana Consultant Pharmacy Service
Author, Publisher, Editor-in Chief, Typesetter & Printer, Charles S. Feucht,PD,FASCP PharmD candidate

Medication News & Update

More on antiplatelet therapy ...

Clopidogrel and Aspirin versus Aspirin Alone for the Prevention of Atherothrombotic Events

Volume 354:1706-1717

April 20, 2006

Number 16

New England Journal of Medicine

Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., Keith A.A. Fox, M.B., Ch.B., Werner Hacke, M.D., Peter B. Berger, M.D., Henry R. Black, M.D., William E. Boden, M.D., Patrice Cacoub, M.D., Eric A. Cohen, M.D., Mark A. Creager, M.D., J. Donald Easton, M.D., Marcus D. Flather, M.D., Steven M. Haffner, M.D., Christian W. Hamm, M.D., Graeme J. Hankey, M.D., S. Claiborne Johnston, M.D., Koon-Hou Mak, M.D., Jean-Louis Mas, M.D., Gilles Montalescot, M.D., Ph.D., Thomas A. Pearson, M.D., P. Gabriel Steg, M.D., Steven R. Steinhubl, M.D., Michael A. Weber, M.D., Danielle M. Brennan, M.S., Liz Fabry-Ribaudo, M.S.N., R.N., Joan Booth, R.N., Eric J. Topol, M.D., for the CHARISMA Investigators

Background Dual antiplatelet therapy with clopidogrel plus low-dose aspirin has not been studied in a broad population of patients at high risk for atherothrombotic events.

Methods We randomly assigned 15,603 patients with either clinically evident cardiovascular disease or multiple risk factors to receive clopidogrel (75 mg per day) plus low-dose aspirin (75 to 162 mg per day) or placebo plus low-dose aspirin and followed them for a median of 28 months. The primary efficacy end point was a composite of myocardial infarction, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes.  Results The rate of the primary efficacy end point was 6.8 percent with clopidogrel plus aspirin and 7.3 percent with placebo plus aspirin (relative risk, 0.93; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.83 to 1.05; P=0.22). The respective rate of the principal secondary efficacy end point, which included hospitalizations for ischemic events, was 16.7 percent and 17.9 percent (relative risk, 0.92; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.86 to 0.995; P=0.04), and the rate of severe bleeding was 1.7 percent and 1.3 percent (relative risk, 1.25; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.97 to 1.61 percent; P=0.09). The rate of the primary end point among patients with multiple risk factors was 6.6 percent with clopidogrel and 5.5 percent with placebo (relative risk, 1.2; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.91 to 1.59; P=0.20) and the rate of death from cardiovascular causes also was higher with clopidogrel (3.9 percent vs. 2.2 percent, P=0.01). In the subgroup with clinically evident atherothrombosis, the rate as 6.9 percent with clopidogrel and 7.9 percent with placebo (relative risk, 0.88; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.77 to 0.998; P=0.046).

Conclusions In this trial, there was a suggestion of benefit with clopidogrel treatment in patients with symptomatic atherothrombosis and a suggestion of harm in patients with multiple risk factors. Overall, clopidogrel plus aspirin was not significantly more effective than aspirin alone in reducing the rate of myocardial infarction, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00050817 [ClinicalTrials.gov] .)

Additionally, consider this:

Patients experiencing stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) are at high risk for recurrent (secondary) strokes, which comprise 29% of all strokes in the United States. Current recommendations for prevention of secondary stroke from the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) call for the broad use of platelet antiaggregation (antiplatelet) agents for patients with a history of noncardioembolic stroke or TIA. Five agents--aspirin, ticlopidine, clopidogrel, extended-release dipyridamole (ER-DP), and triflusal--have demonstrated efficacy in large-scale clinical studies in the prevention of recurrent vascular events and/or stroke in patients with a history of stroke. The results of the following studies are reviewed and compared: the Swedish Aspirin Low-Dose Trial (SALT), the United Kingdom Transient Ischaemic Attack (UK-TIA) Aspirin Trial, Dutch Transient Ischemic Attack (Dutch TIA) study (aspirin), the Canadian American Ticlopidine Study (CATS), the Ticlopidine Aspirin Stroke Study (TASS), the African American Antiplatelet Stroke Prevention Study (AAASPS) (ticlopidine), the Clopidogrel versus Aspirin in Patients at Risk of Recurrent Ischemic Events (CAPRIE) trial, the Management of Atherothrombosis With Clopidogrel in High-Risk Patients study (MATCH) (clopidogrel), the second European Stroke Prevention Study (ESPS2) (aspirin plus ER-DP), and the Triflusal versus Aspirin in Cerebral Infarction Prevention (TACIP) study. In comparative monotherapy studies of patients with previous stroke, ticlopidine demonstrates statistically significant improved efficacy over aspirin, and clopidogrel demonstrates nonsignificant slight improvement over aspirin for the prevention of ischemic cardiac and cerebrovascular events; however, the adverse event profile of ticlopidine (including rash, diarrhea, and neutropenia) will probably limit its long-term use. Among combination approaches, only aspirin plus ER-DP has demonstrated statistically significant, clinically meaningful additive benefit over monotherapy with each agent. Clopidogrel plus aspirin did not significantly improve preventive efficacy and increased the risk of serious side effects, including life-threatening bleeding episodes. The 15,500-patient PRoFESS (the Prevention Regimen for Effectively Avoiding Second Strokes) study, with results expected in 2008, will directly compare aspirin plus ER-DP with clopidogrel monotherapy for the prevention of recurrent stroke and should provide statistically robust estimates of comparative efficacy for the development of improved recommendations.





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