Combination therapy with tirofiban and enoxaparin in acute coronary syndromes

M Cohen, P Théroux, S Weber, P Laramée, T Huynh, S Borzak, J G Diodati, I B Squire, L I Deckelbaum, A R Thornton, K E Harris, F L Sax, M W Lo, H D White
International Journal of Cardiology 1999 December 1, 71 (3): 273-81

BACKGROUND: Tirofiban, an intravenous glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonist, and enoxaparin, a low molecular weight heparin, have each been shown to be effective at reducing cardiac ischemic events compared to unfractionated heparin alone in separate trials of patients with unstable angina and non-Q-wave myocardial infarction. The combination of these agents may offer further therapeutic benefit.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-five patients with non-Q-wave myocardial infarction were randomized to receive double-blind treatment with tirofiban (0.1 microgram/kg/min i.v.) for 48-108 h coadministered with either enoxaparin (1 mg/kg sc q 12 h) (n=26) or unfractionated heparin (i.v. adjusted to activated partial-thromboplastin time) (n=27) to evaluate pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and safety. The primary objective of the study was to investigate the effect of unfractionated heparin versus enoxaparin on the plasma clearance of tirofiban.

RESULTS: Coadministration of tirofiban and enoxaparin was generally well tolerated. Plasma clearance of tirofiban was 176.7+/-59.8 and 187.5+/-81.8 ml/min, respectively, for enoxaparin and unfractionated heparin-treated patients (P=NS). The mean difference was well within the prespecified criterion for comparability. Administration of tirofiban with enoxaparin vs. unfractionated heparin resulted in lesser variability and a trend towards greater inhibition of platelet aggregation using 5 microM adenosine phosphate agonist. More patients achieved target inhibition of platelet aggregation >70% in the tirofiban and enoxaparin group (84% vs. 65%, P=0.19). Median bleeding time was 21 min for tirofiban and enoxaparin vs. > or =30 min for tirofiban and unfractionated heparin (P=NS). For a given level of inhibition of platelet aggregation, bleeding time was less prolonged with tirofiban and enoxaparin than tirofiban and unfractionated heparin (adjusted mean bleeding time 19.6 vs. 24.9 min, P=0.02). Tirofiban plasma concentration and clearance were comparable whether coadministered with enoxaparin or unfractionated heparin. There were no major or minor bleeding events in either group by the TIMI criteria.

INTERPRETATION: The more consistent inhibition of platelet aggregation and lower adjusted bleeding time of tirofiban and enoxaparin vs. tirofiban and unfractionated heparin support the therapeutic potential of combining these two agents. These data from the first clinical report of coadministration of a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor antagonist and a low molecular weight heparin are consistent with prior data which show differential pharmacodynamic effects of enoxaparin and unfractionated heparin on platelet aggregation.

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