Indexed on: 24 Aug '13Published on: 24 Aug '13Published in: Expert review of cardiovascular therapy
The pharmacologic management of patients with high-risk coronary artery disease consists of aspirin and a P2Y12 receptor inhibitor. Chronic oral anticoagulation with warfarin is the major treatment strategy to attenuate thromboembolism or stroke in patients with deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, heart failure and atrial fibrillation. A substantial percentage of the latter group of patients have coronary artery disease and may require stenting with long-term dual antiplatelet therapy in addition to therapy with warfarin to reduce arterial ischemic events in addition to stroke. These new oral anticoagulants have been developed for long-term therapy to overcome the limitations of warfarin. Dabigatran is a direct thrombin inhibitor and its role in patients with acute coronary syndrome is being explored.