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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 130-137

Antiplatelet therapies: An overview


Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA; Nuwill Research and Innovations, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Gundu H R Rao
Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2250-3528.192696

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The role of blood components including platelets, in initiating inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis, thrombus formation, thrombus growth, and acute vascular ischemic events, is well established. Given this recognized role played by platelets, there is a considerable interest in understanding the physiology and function of platelets, as well as in the development of novel platelet function-inhibitory drugs. The generation of the second messengers, calcium mobilization, shape change, adhesion, aggregation, contraction, release of granule contents, thrombus development, thrombus growth, and formation of hemostatic plug at the injured vessel surfaces, in brief, constitute platelet activation. Some of the known compounds that inhibit platelet activation include inhibitors of arachidonic metabolism (cyclooxygenase-1 inhibitors; aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.), adenosine diphosphate receptor antagonists (P2Y 12 inhibitors), adenylyl and guanylyl cyclase stimulators, calcium antagonists, and GP11b/111a receptor antagonists. Since platelets have multiple mechanisms of achieving in vivo activation, it is difficult to design a novel drug that offers total protection for developing acute ischemic vascular events, without compromising coagulation mechanisms. Given this complexity, any aggressive antiplatelet therapy results in increased bleeding episodes. Having said that, we feel that there is a great window of opportunity for developing novel antiplatelet therapies. There is also scope for the development of fixed-dose combinations for the primary and secondary management of chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes.


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