Vorapaxar and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Coincidence or Adverse Association?

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Vorapaxar, a novel antiplatelet thrombin PAR-1 inhibitor, is currently approved for post myocardial infarction and peripheral artery disease indications with concomitant use of clopidogrel and/or aspirin. The vorapaxar safety profile was acceptable. However, aside from heightened bleeding risks, excesses of solid cancers and diplopia, there were more amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) diagnoses after vorapaxar.

Study Question:

To assess the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews on the potential association of vorapaxar with ALS.

Study Design:

The review the public FDA records on reported adverse events after vorapaxar.

Measures and Outcomes:

Incidence of ALS after vorapaxar and placebo.


The ALS risk appears very small, about 1 case per 10,000 treated subjects, but quite probable. Indeed, there were overall 2 placebo and 4 vorapaxar ALS incidences in the Phase III clinical trials.


Potential adverse association of vorapaxar with ALS risks may be related to off-target neuronal PAR receptor(s) blockade beyond platelet inhibition.

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