Background: This study describes the implications of the pharmacokinetics of low-dose chewable aspirin for acute coronary syndromes. Current guidelines recommend the administration of 162-325 mg aspirin chewing tablets for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction. Although aspirin is widely used and a cornerstone in myocardial infarction, there is no information available on the pharmacokinetics of low doses of chewable aspirin.
Materials and methods: This prospective trial assessed the pharmacokinetics of acetylsalicylic acid and its metabolite salicylic acid after intake of 162 mg chewable low-dose aspirin in 35 healthy volunteers. Plasma drug and metabolite levels were analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography, and corresponding pharmacodynamics were determined by impedance aggregometry.
Results: Acetylsalicylic acid was rapidly absorbed with a mean Tmax of 27 ± 8 min. Tmax of salicylic acid was 69 ± 21 min. Mean Cmax was 1·8 ± 0·6 mg/L and 7·6 ± 1·4 for acetylsalicylic acid and salicylic acid, respectively. Arachidonic acid-induced aggregation showed maximum platelet inhibition 30 min after drug ingestion.
Conclusions: The characterization of the plasma-time profile fills the gap between the lack of data on pharmacokinetics and the pharmacodynamics and the recommendation for using low-dose chewable aspirin for acute coronary syndromes. We describe for the first time that a 162-mg dose of chewable aspirin is rapidly absorbed and achieves plasma concentrations of the active metabolite salicylic acid required to maximally inhibit platelet aggregation. However, a 162-mg dose is truly a minimum, and doubling this dose might be better for patients with myocardial infarction.
Keywords: acute coronary syndromes; low-dose chewable aspirin; pharmacokinetics.
© 2014 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation.