What is the role of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonists (abciximab) (eptifibatide) (tirofiban) in the treatment of unstable angina?

Updated: Oct 01, 2020
  • Author: Walter Tan, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Because of the availability of novel oral P2Y12 platelet inhibitors, IV GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors have been relegated to use in special circumstances when a second antiplatelet agent in conjunction with aspirin cannot be promptly given (as in cases where there is a high likelihood of urgent CABG or where cardiac catheterization is delayed because of consent or staffing issues). [42] The risk must justify the bleeding risk (as in young diabetics with elevated troponin levels).

All of the currently available GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors (ie, abciximab, eptifibatide, and tirofiban) have been shown to increase the safety of acute PCI, with relative risk reductions in adverse events (including 30-day mortality and infarction) of approximately 30-50% in trials prior to the advent of the newer P2Y12 platelet inhibitors.

However, the GUSTO-IV (Global Utilization of Streptokinase and TPA [tissue plasminogen activator] for Occluded coronary arteries IV) randomized clinical trial did not show any benefit for abciximab in medically treated patients who did not undergo PCI. [56, 57] In fact, longer duration of abciximab use was associated with a negative trend in event rates.

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