Which medications in the drug class Antiplatelet Agents are used in the treatment of Ischemic Stroke?

Updated: May 27, 2020
  • Author: Edward C Jauch, MD, MS, FAHA, FACEP; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Antiplatelet Agents

Although antiplatelet agents have proved useful for preventing recurrent stroke or stroke after transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), efficacy in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke has not been demonstrated. Early aspirin therapy is recommended within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms but should be delayed for at least 24 hours after rt-PA administration. Aspirin should not be considered as an alternative to intravenous fibrinolysis or other therapies aimed at improving outcomes after stroke.

Aspirin (ASA)

Aspirin blocks prostaglandin synthetase action, which in turn inhibits prostaglandin synthesis and prevents the formation of platelet-aggregating thromboxane A2. It also acts on the hypothalamic heat-regulating center to reduce fever.

Dipyridamole and aspirin (Aggrenox)

The combination of extended-release dipyridamole and aspirin reduces the relative risk of stroke, death, and myocardial infarction (MI). It is used for the secondary prevention of ischemic stroke and TIAs.

Clopidogrel (Plavix)

Clopidogrel inhibits platelet aggregation and is used for secondary stroke prevention. It is indicated for the reduction of atherothrombotic events following a recent stroke.

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