Antiplatelet agents are a cornerstone of therapy for patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease. There is presently a lack of comprehensive guidelines focusing on the use of antiplatelet drugs in patients currently manifesting or at elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. The Canadian Antiplatelet Therapy Guidelines Committee reviewed existing disease-based guidelines and subsequently published literature and used expert opinion and review to develop guidelines on the use of antiplatelet therapy in the outpatient setting. This Executive Summary provides an abbreviated version of the principal recommendations. Antiplatelet therapy appears to be generally underused, perhaps in part because of a lack of clear, evidence-based guidance. Here, we provide specific guidelines for secondary prevention in patients discharged from hospital after acute coronary syndromes, percutaneous coronary intervention, or coronary artery bypass grafting; patients with a history of transient cerebral ischemic events or strokes; and patients with peripheral arterial disease. Issues related to primary prevention are also addressed, in addition to special clinical contexts such as diabetes, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, pregnancy or lactation, and perioperative management. Recommendations are provided regarding pharmacologic interactions that may occur during combination therapy with warfarin, clopidogrel, and proton-pump inhibitors, or aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as for the management of bleeding complications. The complete guidelines document is published as a supplementary issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology and is available at http://www.ccs.ca/.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.