Atherosclerotic Disease of the Carotid Artery Medication

Updated: Mar 22, 2023
  • Author: Jake F Hemingway, MD; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD, FACS  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and prevent complications.


Antiplatelet Agents, Cardiovascular

Class Summary

Antiplatelet agents inhibit platelet aggregation and reduce ischemic events.

Aspirin (Bayer Aspirin, Ascriptin Maximum Strength, Ecotrin, Bufferin)

Aspirin inhibits prostaglandin synthesis, which prevents the formation of platelet-aggregating thromboxane A2.

Clopidogrel (Plavix)

Clopidogrel selectively inhibits adenosine diphosphate (ADP) binding to platelet receptors and subsequent ADP-mediated activation of the glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa complex, thereby inhibiting platelet aggregation.


Ticlopidine hydrochloride interferes with platelet membrane function by inhibiting ADP-induced platelet-fibrinogen binding and subsequent platelet-platelet interaction. It is used as a second-line antiplatelet therapy for patients who are intolerant to aspirin therapy or in whom such therapy fails.


Anticoagulants, Hematologic

Class Summary

Anticoagulants are given to prevent an acute thrombotic or embolic event.

Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)

Warfarin interferes with hepatic synthesis of vitamin K–dependent coagulation factors. It is used for the prophylaxis and treatment of venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and thromboembolic disorders. Tailor the dose to maintain an international normalized ratio (INR) in the range of 2-3.


Lipid-Lowering Agents, Statins