Vorapaxar: emerging evidence and clinical questions in a new era of PAR-1 inhibition

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Abstract

Despite the use of therapies recommended in practice guidelines for secondary prevention in patients with atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, the residual risk for cardiovascular events remains high. Some of the residual risk is believed to result from incomplete platelet inhibition with current therapy. Vorapaxar is a first-in-class, novel antiplatelet agent that acts by antagonizing the PAR-1 receptor, inhibiting thrombin-mediated platelet activation. Vorapaxar was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for secondary prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with a history of myocardial infarction or peripheral artery disease who do not have a history of transient ischemic attack or stroke. We review the data from two key phase III cardiovascular outcome trials with vorapaxar: TRACER and TRA 2P-TIMI 50. We will focus on identifying the key patient populations that should be identified for treatment, highlight practical clinical issues when prescribing vorapaxar, and review unanswered questions. Vorapaxar should be considered in patients at high risk for recurrent ischemic events and low risk of bleeding.

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