Which medications in the drug class Antiplatelet Agents are used in the treatment of Peripheral Arterial Occlusive Disease?

Updated: Sep 12, 2019
  • Author: Josefina A Dominguez, MD; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Antiplatelet Agents

Antiplatelet agents decrease the overall risk of cardiovascular disease from myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke. They also improve walking distance by enhancing circulation.

Aspirin (Ascriptin, Bayer aspirin, Aspirtab, Ecotrin, Halfprin)

Aspirin inhibits prostaglandin synthesis, thereby preventing formation of platelet-aggregating thromboxane A2.

Clopidogrel (Plavix)

Clopidogrel selectively inhibits binding of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) to platelet receptors and subsequent ADP-mediated activation of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa complex, thereby inhibiting platelet aggregation. It is indicated for reduction of atherosclerotic events.

Cilostazol (Pletal)

The mechanism by which cilostazol affects symptoms of intermittent claudication is not fully understood. Cilostazol and several of its metabolites are phosphodiesterase (PDE) subtype 3 (PDE3) inhibitors, inhibiting PDE activity and suppressing degradation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP); the resultant increase in cAMP in platelets and blood vessels leads to inhibition of platelet aggregation and vasodilation, respectively.

Cilostazol reversibly inhibits platelet aggregation induced by various stimuli, including thrombin, ADP, collagen, arachidonic acid, epinephrine, and shear stress.


Pentoxifylline is indicated for treatment of patients with intermittent claudication due to atherosclerosis or other obstructive arteriopathies. It improves blood flow by increasing red blood cell deformability, thereby decreasing blood viscosity.

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