Loading with Oral P2Y12 Receptor Inhibitors: To Crush or Not to Crush?

Thromb Haemost. 2019 Jul;119(7):1037-1047. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1688790. Epub 2019 May 12.


Oral P2Y12 receptor inhibitors represent a mainstay treatment in patients with acute coronary syndrome and those undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. In the setting of ST-elevation myocardial infarction, when early platelet inhibition is highly desirable, the onset of action of oral P2Y12 receptor inhibitors is, however, delayed, likely due to delayed drug absorption. Crushing the tablets, which are to be used for patient loading with an oral P2Y12 receptor inhibitor, has been shown to provide earlier platelet inhibition than standard, integral tablets administration. Chewed ticagrelor tablets may also result in a similar effect. Such findings should be interpreted with caution, mainly due to the small number of patients enrolled and the nature (pharmacodynamic/pharmacokinetic) of the respective studies. Furthermore, in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, who remain comatose, crushing tablets is commonly applied in clinical practice for platelet P2Y12 receptor inhibition. In this review, we focus on current evidence regarding the role of crushed P2Y12 receptor inhibitor pills, analyzing clinical scenarios where most of the promise exists along with future expectations from this type of formulation. Large randomized studies are needed to draw firm conclusions regarding the clinical benefit of 'crushing' over the usual 'not-crushing' practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / surgery
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects
  • Blood Platelets / physiology*
  • Drug Compounding / methods*
  • Humans
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention*
  • Purinergic P2Y Receptor Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Purinergic P2Y Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Tablets
  • Ticagrelor / pharmacology
  • Ticagrelor / therapeutic use*


  • Purinergic P2Y Receptor Antagonists
  • Tablets
  • Ticagrelor