Background: Clopidogrel and aspirin are widely used for patients with acute coronary syndromes and those undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). However, evidence-based guidelines for dosing have not been established for either agent.
Methods: We randomly assigned, in a 2-by-2 factorial design, 25,086 patients with an acute coronary syndrome who were referred for an invasive strategy to either double-dose clopidogrel (a 600-mg loading dose on day 1, followed by 150 mg daily for 6 days and 75 mg daily thereafter) or standard-dose clopidogrel (a 300-mg loading dose and 75 mg daily thereafter) and either higher-dose aspirin (300 to 325 mg daily) or lower-dose aspirin (75 to 100 mg daily). The primary outcome was cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke at 30 days.
Results: The primary outcome occurred in 4.2% of patients assigned to double-dose clopidogrel as compared with 4.4% assigned to standard-dose clopidogrel (hazard ratio, 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83 to 1.06; P=0.30). Major bleeding occurred in 2.5% of patients in the double-dose group and in 2.0% in the standard-dose group (hazard ratio, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.46; P=0.01). Double-dose clopidogrel was associated with a significant reduction in the secondary outcome of stent thrombosis among the 17,263 patients who underwent PCI (1.6% vs. 2.3%; hazard ratio, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.85; P=0.001). There was no significant difference between higher-dose and lower-dose aspirin with respect to the primary outcome (4.2% vs. 4.4%; hazard ratio, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.09; P=0.61) or major bleeding (2.3% vs. 2.3%; hazard ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.84 to 1.17; P=0.90).
Conclusions: In patients with an acute coronary syndrome who were referred for an invasive strategy, there was no significant difference between a 7-day, double-dose clopidogrel regimen and the standard-dose regimen, or between higher-dose aspirin and lower-dose aspirin, with respect to the primary outcome of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke. (Funded by Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00335452.)