Nastaran Ostad, BScPharm, PharmD Candidate, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
Glen J. Pearson, BSc, BScPharm, PharmD, FCSHP, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.
Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAT) with acetylsalicylic acid and a thienopyridine agent (clopidogrel) as secondary prevention for patients with atherosclerotic coronary artery disease has been proven effective in those with unstable angina or acute coronary syndromes and following a percutaneous coronary intervention. At present, detailed guidelines provide specific guidance to clinicians regarding which patients to treat, the specific safe and effective combination regimen to use, and the appropriate duration of DAT. This evidence applies to the prevention of cardiovascular events in older adults; however, special considerations should be undertaken when using DAT in older adults due to their overall increased propensity for bleeding complications and potential concomitant medication use for comorbid conditions. This article provides an overview of the evidence for DAT, with a focus on treating older adults.
Key words: cardiovascular protection, clopidogrel, acetylsalicylic acid, acute coronary syndromes, coronary stenting.