The long-awaited results of the Management of Atherothrombosis with Clopidogrel in High-Risk Patients with Recent Transient Ischemic Attack (MATCH) study, a large-scale trial undertaken to evaluate the safety and efficacy of clopidogrel + aspirin for secondary prevention of stroke, have been published. The efficacy of any antiplatelet therapy, including aspirin, is modest when it is used as monotherapy, and combination therapy with 2 antiplatelet agents has shown promise in reducing the risk for secondary stroke in patients who have had a previous transient ischemic attack (TIA) or ischemic stroke. However, unlike the Second European Stroke Prevention Study (ESPS-2), which demonstrated a significant reduction in risk for secondary stroke with aspirin + extended-release dipyridamole versus aspirin alone the results of the MATCH trial indicated that the reduction in risk achieved by adding aspirin to clopidogrel is not significantly greater than that achieved with clopidogrel alone. Furthermore, a significant increase in life-threatening bleeding complications was associated with the combination of clopidogrel + aspirin. Given these findings, clopidogrel + aspirin cannot be recommended at this time for the secondary prevention of stroke in patients who have had a previous ischemic stroke or TIA.
- Extended-release dipyridamole
- Secondary prevention
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