Contemporary Use of Oral Antithrombotic Agents: Focus on Dual and Triple Therapeutic Approaches
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) represents a long-standing health care burden in most industrialized countries. Management of ASCVD is multifaceted, and utilization of antithrombotic agents is a key component of care to reduce vascular events. Minimizing thrombotic risk can be accomplished via antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs; however, combination therapy is warranted for some indications. Although reducing thrombotic complications is important, it is equally vital to consider the safety of combination regimens. Thus clinicians must effectively balance both individualized thrombotic and bleeding risks when using this strategy. Scenarios occur in practice when determining the role for combination therapy is not clear, especially for patients with ASCVD who require both dual antiplatelet therapy plus anticoagulation. The aim of this review is to discuss the role of dual or triple antithrombotic therapies across the spectrum of thrombotic disease states. In addition to critiquing relevant research studies and evaluating key recommendations from nationally published guidelines and consensus statements involving the use of these agents, we offer practical considerations that can be utilized when managing patients with ASCVD.