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Platelet aggregation inhibitors, as the name indicates, inhibit the aggregation of platelets. Now, you may ask "Why should I inhibit my platelets from exercising their right to peaceful aggregation?" The answer is, if you have no problems, you shouldn't. Platelet aggregation is a good thing. It keeps you from bleeding to death when you scrape yourself.

However, for people with certain cardiovascular problems such as atrial fibrillation, or people who have had a stroke or heart attack, platelet aggregation is a BAD THING. In these circumstances, keeping your platelets from sticking together may literally save your life. Without platelet aggregation, clots do not form, which keeps said non-formed clots from clogging up cerebral or cardiac blood vessels.

Platelet aggregation inhibitors

Brand/Generic Drug Names

aspirin, anagrelide, cilostazol, clopidogrel, dipyramidole, ticlopidine, abciximab, eptifibatide, tirofiban
Common uses
essential thrombocythemia, intermittent claudication, acute coronary syndrome, prophylaxis of myocardial infarction, thromboembolic stroke, vascular death
inhibit platelet aggregation
Class contraindications
hematopoietic disorders, hemostatic disorder, bleeding within 6 wks, active bleeding, hepatic dysfunction
Class precautions
risk for trauma, surgery, possible bleeding lesions, severe uncontrolled hypertension, recent major surgery (6 wks), cerebrovascular accident within 2 yrs, cardiac disease, hypotension, asthma
Increased bleeding tendency: anticoagulants, thrombolytic agents, dextran
Adverse Reactions
headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tachycardia, edema, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, dizziness, rash, bleeding, purpura, hypotension, arthralgia, back pain, syncope
Additional Information
Assess complete blood count w. differential, platelets, coagulation studies, cardiac status
Assess for bleeding, anaphylaxis
Evaluate therapeutic response: absence of thrombotic episodes
Date of most recent Update
August 08, 2002
Further information is available in the writeup for the specific name(s) of this medication class

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