Home » Drug Information » FDA Approved Drugs » 1999
Medical Areas: Endocrinology | Hematology | Neurology | Family Medicine
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The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published
medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.
Company: Boehringer Ingelheim
Approval Status: Approved November 1999
Treatment Area: Indicated for the prevention of stroke in patients who have experienced a previous stroke or a TIA (mini-stroke)
Stroke occurs when blood clots block blood flow to the brain.
Aggrenox acts as an antiplatelet, preventing blood
platelets from aggregating to form the dangerous
Platelet aggregation is actually a natural process which allows
platelet cells to stick together and adhere to the blood vessel
wall to prevent excessive blood loss when a blood vessel is
damaged. However, for patients who have high-risk of blood
clotting, this mechanism can be dangerous. Aggrenox works to
prevent the clotting in patients, such as stroke victims, who fall
into this high-risk category.
Stroke, the third leading cause of death in the United States,
afflicts 730,000 Americans in all and kills approximately 160,000
of those victims each year. Recurrance rate over five years ranges
from 30% to nearly 50%, so a drug like Aggrenox which lowers the
risk for recurrance is essential.
Results of the European Stroke Prevention Study 2 (ESPS2), which
involved over 6,600 patients, indicated that Aggrenox reduces the
risk of recurrent stroke by 37% compared to placebo. Aspirin-only
regimens reduced the risk by only 18% as compared to the
In addition, the results of the study indicated that Aggrenox may
reduce risk for secondary stroke more effectively than Clopidogrel,
another antiplatelet, although direct- comparison studies between
the two drugs have not yet been done.
Although Aggrenox generally well-tolerated, it was shown to
induce headache, bleeding, and gastrointestinal events in some
patients undergoing the treatment.
Mechanism of Action
Aggrenox is an aspirin/extended-release dipyridamole combination
that acts on multiple mechanisms of the platelet-aggregation
process to prevent clumping and clotting.
Gregory W. Albers, Robert G. Hart, Helmi L. Lutsep, David W.
Newell, and Ralph L. Sacco. "Supplement to the Guidelines for
the Management of Transient Ischemic Attacks,"
Stroke, November 1999, Vol 30:2502-2511.
Visit the following online sites for more information
about Aggrenox, strokes, and stroke-related issues:
Recognize the Symptoms of
- Sudden numbness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of
- Sudden confusion; trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek
emergency medical attention immediately! Stroke is
very serious and can "cascade" rapidly, but treatment can
be more effective if given quickly.