Dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin and a P2Y12 inhibitor is the treatment of choice for the prevention of atherothrombotic events in patients with acute coronary syndromes and for those undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions. The availability of different oral P2Y12 inhibitors (clopidogrel, prasugrel, ticagrelor) has enabled physicians to contemplate switching among therapies because of specific clinical scenarios. The recent introduction of an intravenous P2Y12 inhibitor (cangrelor) further adds to the multitude of modalities and settings in which switching therapies may occur. In clinical practice, it is not uncommon to switch P2Y12 inhibitor, and switching may be attributed to a variety of factors. However, concerns about the safety of switching between these agents have emerged. Practice guidelines have not fully elaborated on how to switch therapies, leaving clinicians with limited guidance on when and how to switch therapies when needed. This prompted the development of this expert consensus document by key leaders from North America and Europe with expertise in basic, translational, and clinical sciences in the field of antiplatelet therapy. This expert consensus provides an overview of the pharmacology of P2Y12 inhibitors, different modalities and definitions of switching, and available literature and recommendations for switching between P2Y12 inhibitors.
Keywords: P2Y12 receptor inhibitors; drug interactions; hemorrhage; pharmacodynamics; platelet aggregation inhibitors; thrombosis.
© 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.