Antiplatelet agents are medications, which interfere with the action
of small elements in the blood called platelets. Platelets adhere to bleeding
sites and initiate the clotting process. Aspirin is the best known and
most widely used antiplatelet agent. These agents are used to treat unstable
angina and to prevent stroke and heart attack. Other agents include Dipyridamole
(Persantine) and Sulfinpyrazone (Auturan). Newer agents include Ticlopidine
(Ticlid) and Clopidogrel (Plavix Information Sheet). Side effects include gastro-intestinal
upset and bleeding. To relieve mild GI distress take enteric coated aspirin
or take these medications with food or milk. Dont take aspirin with
alcohol to avoid intestinal bleeding.
Speak with your doctor or nurse about each of these drugs individually
to learn of specific points to be aware of.