Background: The increasing use of higher-than-approved doses of clopidogrel in clinical practice is based in part on the desire for greater levels of inhibition of platelet aggregation (IPA). Prasugrel is a new thienopyridine that is more potent than standard-dose clopidogrel in healthy subjects and patients with stable coronary artery disease. The relative antiplatelet effects of prasugrel versus high-dose clopidogrel in percutaneous coronary intervention patients are unknown.
Methods and results: Prasugrel in Comparison to Clopidogrel for Inhibition of Platelet Activation and Aggregation-Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction 44 (PRINCIPLE-TIMI 44) was a randomized, double-blind, 2-phase crossover study of prasugrel compared with high-dose clopidogrel in patients undergoing cardiac catheterization for planned percutaneous coronary intervention. The primary end point of the loading-dose phase (prasugrel 60 mg versus clopidogrel 600 mg) was IPA with 20 mumol/L ADP at 6 hours. Patients with percutaneous coronary intervention entered the maintenance-dose phase, a 28-day crossover comparison of prasugrel 10 mg/d versus clopidogrel 150 mg/d with a primary end point of IPA after 14 days of either drug. In this study, 201 subjects were randomized. IPA at 6 hours was significantly higher in subjects receiving prasugrel (mean+/-SD, 74.8+/-13.0%) compared with clopidogrel (31.8+/-21.1%; P<0.0001). During the maintenance-dose phase, IPA with 20 mumol/L ADP was higher in subjects receiving prasugrel (61.3+/-17.8%) compared with clopidogrel (46.1+/-21.3%; P<0.0001). Results were consistent across all key secondary end points; significant differences emerged by 30 minutes and persisted across all time points.
Conclusions: Among patients undergoing cardiac catheterization with planned percutaneous coronary intervention, loading with 60 mg prasugrel resulted in greater platelet inhibition than a 600-mg clopidogrel loading dose. Maintenance therapy with prasugrel 10 mg/d resulted in a greater antiplatelet effect than 150 mg/d clopidogrel.