Clopidogrel Beats Aspirin for High-risk Patients
The antiplatelet drug clopidogrel (Plavix) appears better than
aspirin at protecting some high-risk people from repeat heart
attacks and strokes, according to a clinical trial.
Nearly 5,000 men and women with a history of heart attack, stroke,
or peripheral arterial disease were randomly assigned to take
either aspirin or clopidogrel every day for up to three years.
Those who took clopidogrel were 15% less likely than those given
aspirin to suffer another attack or die of cardiovascular disease
over the next three years. When it came to combined risk of heart
attack, stroke, or rehospitalization, clopidogrel again was superior
Aspirin is commonly prescribed to heart attack and stroke survivors
to prevent future events. The new findings suggest that for these
individuals, who are at particularly high risk for future events,
the more expensive clopidogrel might be a better choice. By the
end of the study, 20% of clopidogrel patients had died or suffered
another heart attack or stroke, compared with 24% of those on
The study did not test the combination of aspirin and clopidogrel.
Volume 35, page 528