Eptifibatide: a potent inhibitor of the platelet receptor integrin, glycoprotein IIb/IIIa.
Platelet aggregation is intimately involved in the pathophysiology of acute coronary syndromes. Blockade of the platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor, the mediator of platelet aggregation induced by all physiologic agonists, prevents arterial thrombosis in animal models far more effectively than aspirin. Eptifibatide (Integrilintrade mark) is a rapidly reversible competitive inhibitor of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa studied in a broad range of ischaemic coronary conditions, including percutaneous coronary intervention, ST-segment and non-ST-segment acute myocardial infarction and unstable angina. In each case, therapy with eptifibatide has reduced acute ischaemic complications without any increased risk of life-threatening bleeding or adverse events. Based on data from the Integrelin to Minimize Platelet Aggregation and Coronary Thrombosis (IMPACT) II study, a salutary benefit in the range of a 20 - 25% reduction in adverse clinical events can be expected in patients undergoing coronary intervention. Few significant pharmacological effects other than inhibition of platelet aggregation and the effect on bleeding time have been reported. Future research will focus on alternative doses, infusion regimens and combinations with other therapies to improve further cardiovascular outcomes.
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