The Living Guidelines:UA/NSTEMI Antiplatelet Therapy

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Recommendations for Antiplatelet Therapy

CLASS I

Current Guidelines: Cannot be edited

1. Aspirin should be administered to UA/NSTEMI patients as soon as possible after hospital presentation and continued indefinitely in patients not known to be intolerant of that medication. (Level of Evidence: A)

2. Clopidogrel (loading dose followed by daily maintenance dose)* should be administered to UA/NSTEMI patients who are unable to take ASA because of hypersensitivity or major gastrointestinal intolerance. (Level of Evidence: A)

3. In UA/NSTEMI patients with a history of gastrointestinal bleeding, when ASA and clopidogrel are administered alone or in combination, drugs to minimize the risk of recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding (e.g., proton-pump inhibitors) should be prescribed concomitantly. (Level of Evidence: B)

4. For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial invasive strategy is selected, antiplatelet therapy in addition to aspirin should be initiated before diagnostic angiography (upstream) with either clopidogrel (loading dose followed by daily maintenance dose)* or an intravenous GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor. (Level of Evidence: A) Abciximab as the choice for upstream GP IIb/IIIa therapy is indicated only if there is no appreciable delay to angiography and PCI is likely to be performed; otherwise, IV eptifibatide or tirofiban is the preferred choice of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor. (Level of Evidence: B)

5. For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial conservative (i.e., noninvasive) strategy is selected (see Section 3.3), clopidogrel (loading dose followed by daily maintenance dose)* should be added to ASA and anticoagulant therapy as soon as possible after admission and administered for at least 1 month (Level of Evidence: A) and ideally up to 1 year. (Level of Evidence: B)

6. For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial conservative strategy is selected, if recurrent symptoms/ischemia, HF, or serious arrhythmias subsequently appear, then diagnostic angiography should be performed. (Level of Evidence: A) Either an intravenous GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor (eptifibatide or tirofiban; Level of Evidence: A) or clopidogrel (loading dose followed by daily maintenance dose; Level of Evidence: A) should be added to ASA and anticoagulant therapy before diagnostic angiography (upstream).(Level of Evidence: C)

CLASS I

Living Guidelines: Edit These

1. Aspirin should be administered to UA/NSTEMI patients as soon as possible after hospital presentation and continued indefinitely in patients not known to be intolerant of that medication. (Level of Evidence: A)

2. Clopidogrel (loading dose followed by daily maintenance dose)* should be administered to UA/NSTEMI patients who are unable to take ASA because of hypersensitivity or major gastrointestinal intolerance. (Level of Evidence: A)

3. In UA/NSTEMI patients with a history of gastrointestinal bleeding, when ASA and clopidogrel are administered alone or in combination, drugs to minimize the risk of recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding (e.g., proton-pump inhibitors) should be prescribed concomitantly. (Level of Evidence: B)

4. For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial invasive strategy is selected, antiplatelet therapy in addition to aspirin should be initiated before diagnostic angiography (upstream) with either clopidogrel (loading dose followed by daily maintenance dose)* or an intravenous GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor. (Level of Evidence: A) Abciximab as the choice for upstream GP IIb/IIIa therapy is indicated only if there is no appreciable delay to angiography and PCI is likely to be performed; otherwise, IV eptifibatide or tirofiban is the preferred choice of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor. (Level of Evidence: B)

5. For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial conservative (i.e., noninvasive) strategy is selected (see Section 3.3), clopidogrel (loading dose followed by daily maintenance dose)* should be added to ASA and anticoagulant therapy as soon as possible after admission and administered for at least 1 month (Level of Evidence: A) and ideally up to 1 year. (Level of Evidence: B)

6. For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial conservative strategy is selected, if recurrent symptoms/ischemia, HF, or serious arrhythmias subsequently appear, then diagnostic angiography should be performed. (Level of Evidence: A) Either an intravenous GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor (eptifibatide or tirofiban; Level of Evidence: A) or clopidogrel (loading dose followed by daily maintenance dose; Level of Evidence: A) should be added to ASA and anticoagulant therapy before diagnostic angiography (upstream).(Level of Evidence: C)


CLASS IIa

Current Guidelines: Cannot be edited

1. For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial conservative strategy is selected and who have recurrent ischemic discomfort with clopidogrel, ASA, and anticoagulant therapy, it is reasonable to add a GP IIb/IIIa antagonist before diagnostic angiography. (Level of Evidence: C)

2. For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial invasive strategy is selected, it is reasonable to initiate antiplatelet therapy with both clopidogrel (loading dose followed by daily maintenance dose)* and an intravenous GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor. (Level of Evidence: B) Abciximabas the choice for upstream GP IIb/IIIa therapy is indicated only if there is no appreciable delay to angiography and PCI is likely to be performed; otherwise, IV eptifibatide or tirofiban is the preferred choice of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor. (Level of Evidence: B)

3. For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial invasive strategy is selected, it is reasonable to omit upstream administration of an intravenous GP IIb/IIIa antagonist before diagnostic angiography if bivalirudin is selected as the anticoagulant and at least 300 mg of clopidogrel was administered at least 6 h earlier than planned catheterization or PCI. (Level of Evidence: B)

CLASS IIa

Living Guidelines: Edit These

1. For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial conservative strategy is selected and who have recurrent ischemic discomfort with clopidogrel, ASA, and anticoagulant therapy, it is reasonable to add a GP IIb/IIIa antagonist before diagnostic angiography. (Level of Evidence: C)

2. For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial invasive strategy is selected, it is reasonable to initiate antiplatelet therapy with both clopidogrel (loading dose followed by daily maintenance dose)* and an intravenous GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor. (Level of Evidence: B) Abciximabas the choice for upstream GP IIb/IIIa therapy is indicated only if there is no appreciable delay to angiography and PCI is likely to be performed; otherwise, IV eptifibatide or tirofiban is the preferred choice of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor. (Level of Evidence: B)

3. For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial invasive strategy is selected, it is reasonable to omit upstream administration of an intravenous GP IIb/IIIa antagonist before diagnostic angiography if bivalirudin is selected as the anticoagulant and at least 300 mg of clopidogrel was administered at least 6 h earlier than planned catheterization or PCI. (Level of Evidence: B)

CLASS IIb

Current Guidelines: Cannot be edited

For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial conservative (i.e., noninvasive) strategy is selected, it may be reasonable to add eptifibatide or tirofiban to anticoagulant and oral antiplatelet therapy. (Level of Evidence: B)

CLASS IIb

Current Guidelines: Edit These

For UA/NSTEMI patients in whom an initial conservative (i.e., noninvasive) strategy is selected, it may be reasonable to add eptifibatide or tirofiban to anticoagulant and oral antiplatelet therapy. (Level of Evidence: B)

CLASS III

Current Guidelines: Cannot be edited

Abciximab should not be administered to patients in whom PCI is not planned. (Level of Evidence: A)

CLASS III

Current Guidelines: Edit These

Abciximab should not be administered to patients in whom PCI is not planned. (Level of Evidence: A)


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