Vorapaxar in Atherosclerotic Disease Management

Judy W.M. Cheng, Vincent Colucci, Patricia A. Howard, Jean M. Nappi, Sarah A. Spinler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To review the pharmacology, efficacy, and safety of vorapaxar, a protease activator receptor-1 (PAR-1) antagonist, in the management of atherosclerotic diseases. Data Sources: Peer-reviewed clinical trials and review articles were identified from MEDLINE and Current Content database (both 1966 to December 31, 2014) using the search terms vorapaxar and protease activator receptor antagonist. Study Selection and Data Extraction: A total of 30 clinical studies were identified (16 clinical trials, including subanalyses, 14 related to pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics and drug interactions). Data Synthesis: Two phase III clinical trials with vorapaxar have been published. In patients with non–ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (MI), vorapaxar failed to significantly reduce the primary efficacy end point (composite of cardiovascular death, MI, stroke, recurrent ischemia with hospitalization, and urgent coronary revascularization). Conversely, in a study of secondary prevention for patients with cardiovascular disease, the composite end point of cardiovascular death, MI, or stroke was significantly reduced. In both trials, the safety end points of major/minor bleeding were increased compared with placebo. In the secondary prevention trial, an increased incidence of intracranial hemorrhage led to the exclusion of patients with a prior history of stroke. Conclusion: Vorapaxar is approved for use with aspirin and/or clopidogrel in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular events in stable patients with peripheral arterial disease or a history of MI. However, the addition of vorapaxar to other antiplatelets can significantly increase the risk of bleeding. It is, therefore, essential to balance the need for further reduction of risk of thrombotic event with patient’s individual bleeding risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-606
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 22 2015


  • atherosclerotic disease
  • protease activator receptor-1 antagonist
  • vorapaxar


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