Updated guidelines on percutaneous coronary intervention recommend increasing the dose of clopidogrel to 150 mg in high-risk patients if <50% platelet inhibition is demonstrated. However, to date, the functional impact of this recommendation has been poorly explored. The aim of this study was to assess the functional implications associated with the use of clopidogrel 150 mg/day in patients with inadequate platelet inhibition while receiving standard 75 mg/day maintenance treatment. Patients with diabetes mellitus have a higher prevalence of inadequate clopidogrel-induced antiplatelet effects and stent thrombosis compared with those without diabetes and were selected for this analysis. Platelet inhibition was assessed using the VerifyNow P2Y12 assay in patients with type 2 diabetes receiving dual-antiplatelet therapy. Patients (n = 17) with <50% platelet inhibition were treated with clopidogrel 150 mg/day for 1 month. Adenosine diphosphate-induced aggregation and the P2Y12 reactivity ratio were also assessed. Platelet function profiles were compared with that of a control group (n = 17) with >or=50% inhibition. Platelet inhibition increased from 27.1 +/- 12% to 40.6 +/- 18% in patients treated with clopidogrel 150 mg/day (p = 0.009; primary end point). All other functional measures also showed enhanced clopidogrel-induced antiplatelet effects. The degree of platelet inhibition achieved after treatment with clopidogrel 150 mg/day varied broadly, and only 35% of patients yielded a degree of platelet inhibition >or=50%. Increasing the dose in patients with inadequate response to clopidogrel did not reach the same degree of antiplatelet effects as those achieved in patients with adequate response while receiving 75 mg/day. In conclusion, the use of a 150 mg maintenance dose of clopidogrel in patients with type 2 diabetes with <50% platelet inhibition is associated with enhanced antiplatelet effects. However, the antiplatelet effects achieved are nonuniform, and a considerable number of patients persist with inadequate platelet inhibition.