Antiplatelet drugs in thromboembolism
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Evidence is mounting that three drugs that inhibit platelet function--aspirin, dipyridamole, and sulfinpyrazine--have an antithrombotic effect in humans. Particularly in men, aspirin is beneficial in controlling transient ischemic attacks and stroke, and there is evidence that it may be effective in preventing thrombotic and embolic complication of hip surgery. It abolishes symptoms in peripheral ischemia associated with thrombocytosis and spontaneous platelet aggregation and may prove effective in coronary artery disease. When combined with oral anticoagulants, aspirin is more effective than oral anticoagulants alone in preventing systemic embolism in patients with prosthetic heart valves. Dipyridamole in combination with oral anticoagulants reduces the incidence of systemic embolism after prosthetic heart valve replacement. Sulfinpyrazone reduces the incidence of sudden death in the first year after myocardial infarction, decreases the incidence of arteriovenous shunt thrombosis in patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis, and when combined with anticoagulants, may be effective in reducing the frequency of episodes in recurrent venous thrombosis.
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