Publication Date



acute coronary syndrome, antiplatelet medication, ticagrelor, loading dose, P2Y12 reaction units, non-ST-segment, stable ischemic heart disease


Purpose: Dual antiplatelet therapy is standard for patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with stents. Traditionally, patients swallow the loading dose of a P2Y12 inhibitor before or during PCI. Time to achieve adequate platelet inhibition after swallowing the loading dose varies significantly. Chewed tablets may allow more rapid inhibition of platelet aggregation. However, data for this strategy in patients with stable ischemic heart disease or non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) are less robust.

Methods: In this single-center prospective trial, 112 P2Y12-naïve patients with stable ischemic heart disease or NSTE-ACS on aspirin therapy and who received ticagrelor after coronary angiography but before PCI were randomized to chewing (n = 55) or swallowing (n = 57) the ticagrelor loading dose (180 mg). Baseline variables were compared using 2-sample t-test and chi-squared/Fisher’s exact tests as appropriate, with alpha set at 0.05. P2Y12 reaction units (PRU) were compared at baseline, 1 hour, and 4 hours using Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Patients then received standard ticagrelor dosing.

Results: After exclusions, P2Y12 PRU in the chewed and swallowed groups at baseline, 1 hour, and 4 hours after ticagrelor loading dose were 243 vs 256 (P = 0.75), 143 vs 210 (P = 0.09), and 28 vs 25 (P = 0.89), respectively. No differences were found in major adverse cardiac events (MACE) or major bleeding at 30 days and 1 year.

Conclusions: In patients with stable ischemic heart disease or NSTE-ACS, chewing rather than swallowing ticagrelor may lead to slightly faster inhibition of platelet aggregation at 1 hour with no increase in MACE or major bleeding.




August 31st, 2022


December 27th, 2022


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