Ticagrelor (Brilinta, AstraZeneca) gains equal standing with prasugrel (Effient, Lilly) and clopdiogrel in the newly released focused update of the ACCF/AHA guidelines for unstable angina and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). The change had been widely anticipated since last year’s FDA approval of ticagrelor.
“We have put it on equal footing with two other antiplatelet medications, clopidogrel and prasugrel,” said Hani Jneid, the, lead author of the update, in a press release issued by the AHA.
As part of the standard of dual-antiplatelet therapy (DAPT), aspirin should be given immediately to patients with unstable angina and NSTEMI. Aspirin use should be continued for “as long as it is tolerated.”
The document offers a highly detailed, near-Talmudic analysis of the literature, with a great deal of attention devoted to analysis of the TRITON-TIMI 38 trial of prasugrel and the PLATO trial of ticagrelor. Overall, the committee concluded:
This guideline explicitly does not endorse one of the P2Y12 receptor inhibitors over the other.
However, based on data from the trials, the document provide ssome advice about the selection of the P2Y12 receptor inhibitors in specific situations, and related issues involving clopidogrel resistance.
–Because prasugrel was administered only after PCI had been planned, the writing group “does not recommend that prasugrel be administered routinely to patients with UA/NSTEMI before angiography.”
–The writing group cautions “clinicians about the potential increased bleeding risks associated with prasugrel and ticagrelor compared with clopidogrel in specific settings and especially among the subgroups identified in the package insert and clinical trials.”
–The document reviews at length the issue of clopidogrel resistance, but concludes “there is little information about the use of strategies to select patients who might do better with newer P2Y12 receptor inhibitors.”
–On genotype testing for loss-of-function CYP2c19 alleles: “On the basis of the current evidence, it is difficult to strongly recommend genotype testing routinely in patients with ACS, but it might be considered on a case-by-case basis, especially in patients who experience recurrent ACS events despite ongoing therapy with clopidogrel.”
–On platelet function testing: “any strong recommendation regarding more widespread use of such testing must await the results” of ongoing trials…. the prudent physician should maintain an open yet critical mind-set about the concept until data are available…”
–On the use of proton pump inhibitors and clopidogrel: “The expert consensus statement does not prohibit the use of PPI agents in appropriate clinical settings, yet highlights the potential risks and benefits from use of PPI agents in combination with clopidogrel.”
Here is the press release from the AHA:
Updated AHA/ACCF guidelines for unstable angina include newest blood thinning drug
- The blood-thinning drug ticagrelor is now considered equal to blood thinners clopidogrel and prasugrel for treating some patients who have a heart attack or chest pain.
- Aspirin remains the first line of therapy for patients with NSTEMI heart attacks and unstable angina immediately after hospitalization.
- Patients unable to take aspirin may receive prasugrel for artery-opening procedures since research on the medication is restricted to those patients. Ticagrelor or clopidogrel may be given whether patients receive medical therapy alone or are also having an invasive procedure;
- Patients undergoing invasive procedures should receive both aspirin and another antiplatelet medication;
- Patients undergoing medical treatment only should receive aspirin indefinitely and clopidogrel or ticagrelor for up to or at least 12 months.