Bivalirudin in percutaneous coronary intervention

Caron, Michael F.; McKendall, George R.
September 2003
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;9/15/2003, Vol. 60 Issue 18, p1841
Academic Journal
The chemistry and pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, adverse effects, drug interactions, dosing and administration, and pharmacoeconomics of bivalirudin are reviewed; clinical trials of bivalirudin's application in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are also discussed. Bivalirudin is a direct thrombin inhibitor approved for use in PCI. It reversibly binds to thrombin's catalytic site and substrate recognition site and blocks both circulating and fibrin-bound thrombin. Peak concentrations occur in less than 5 minutes after bolus-dose administration, and its half-life is approximately 25 minutes. It is primarily eliminated renally, and dosage reduction may be required in patients with severe renal dysfunction. Two clinical trials have demonstrated that bivalirudin is at least as effective as unfractionated heparin (UFH) in preventing ischemic complications in PCI. Other trials have shown that bivalirudin has beneficial ischemic and hemorrhagic out-comes in a more modern PCI setting (i.e., intracoronary stent placement, clopidogrel, and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa-receptor inhibitors). Bivalirudin combined with provisional glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors was noninferior to UFH with planned glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors and superior to UFH alone with respect to ischemic and hemorrhagic endpoints in PCI. Major bleeding with bivalirudin has occurred in approximately 3% of patients in clinical trials, and it is not known to have any interactions with the cytochrome P-450 isoenzyme system. The acquisition cost of bivalirudin in one study was less than the combination of UFH and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors. Bivalirudin combined with provisional glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors appears to be an acceptable alternative to the standard of care and is superior to UFH alone in PCI.


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