Ticagrelor or prasugrel vs. clopidogrel in combination with anticoagulation for treatment of acute coronary syndrome in patients with atrial fibrillation
For patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and acute coronary syndrome (ACS), it is often challenging to find the optimal balance between the risk for ischemic and hemorrhagic complication when using both antiplatelet therapy and oral anticoagulation (OAC) with vitamin K antagonist (VKA) or direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). Current guidelines recommended: (I) double therapy with a P2Y12 inhibitor and dose adjusted VKA is reasonable post-stenting; (II) double therapy with clopidogrel and low-dose rivaroxaban (15 mg daily) may be reasonable post-stenting; (III) double therapy with a P2Y12 inhibitor and dabigatran 150 mg twice daily is reasonable post-stenting. In the AUGUSTUS trial, most patients were given clopidogrel as part a DAPT regimen, however prasugrel and ticagrelor use allowed albeit in a small percentage of the trial population, underestimating its effect. Ticagrelor and prasugrel are known to have a stronger antiplatelet effect compared to clopidogrel, however randomized studies have not been adequately powered to date allowing comparisons between ticagrelor, prasugrel and clopidogrel together in the setting of anticoagulation for the treatment of patients with ACS and AF. Careful consideration should be given to this scenario to avoid falling into the concept of sacrificing efficacy for safety.