Antithrombotic therapy is a cornerstone of treatment in patients with cardiovascular disease with bleeding being the most feared complication. This review describes the risk of bleeding related to different combinations of antithrombotic drugs used for cardiovascular disease: acute coronary syndrome (ACS), atrial fibrillation (AF), cerebrovascular (CVD) and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Different risk assessment schemes and bleeding definitions are compared. The HAS-BLED risk score is recommended in patients with AF and in ACS patients with AF. In patients with ACS with or without a stent dual antiplatelet therapy with a P2Y12 receptor antagonist and acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) is recommended for 12 months, preferable with prasugrel or ticagrelor unless there is an additional indication of warfarin or increased risk of bleeding. In patients with AF, warfarin is recommended if the risk of stroke is moderate to high, but newer emerging antithrombotic drugs will be recommended along with/or preferred to warfarin in the nearby future. Patients with CVD (without cardiogenic causes) are recommended clopidogrel treatment for secondary prevention, where as patients with PAD are recommended ASA or clopidogrel. With future implementation of new antithrombotic treatment regimens as monotherapy and in combinations with antiplatelet therapy, increased focus on risk of thromboembolic events and bleeding and individual tailoring of antithrombotic therapy is warranted.
Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2012, Vol 18, Issue 33, p. 5362-78