Ticagrelor is a promising new first-line antiplatelet agent for use with aspirin in the treatment of acute coronary syndromes.
In patients with acute coronary syndromes or who have had percutaneous coronary intervention, effective antiplatelet therapy is essential to reduce the risk of thrombus formation and consequent vascular events (recurrent angina and re-infarction in the case of ACS, and stent thrombosis and restenosis after coronary stent implantation). Dual antiplatelet therapy is often required to inhibit platelet function in such patients, and there is now a choice of three agents that can be used with aspirin: clopidogrel, prasugrel and ticagrelor.
Ticagrelor has recently been PBS listed (August 2012) for the treatment of acute coronary syndromes (myocardial infarction or unstable angina) in combination with aspirin. This article reviews ticagrelor, including the evidence for its efficacy and its side effects.