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BACKGROUND: Heparin is of limited value as an antithrombotic drug in the presence of platelet activation and residual thrombus. Greater anticoagulant activity can be achieved in vivo with more specific thrombin inhibitors. Heparin may also increase the risk of bleeding by an effect on platelets that is independent of its thrombin inhibitory activity. METHODS AND RESULTS: The pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic effects of a novel thrombin inhibitor, argatroban, were examined alone and in combination with aspirin in normal male volunteers. Argatroban induced a dose-dependent prolongation of the thrombin time and the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT). aPTT had returned to its pretreatment value 1 hour after stopping the infusion of argatroban. Six male subjects received an infusion of 1 micrograms/kg/min argatroban after the administration of two doses of 162.5 mg aspirin or a matching placebo. At this dose, aspirin decreased serum thromboxane B2 by a mean of 99% and prolonged the bleeding time (230 +/- 52 versus 320 +/- 113 seconds, p less than 0.01). Argatroban given alone increased thrombin time by 454 +/- 18% and aPTT by 160 +/- 3%. Steady-state plasma concentrations were achieved at 1 hour and declined exponentially with an elimination half-life of 24 +/- 4 minutes. Neither the anticoagulant effects nor the plasma concentrations of argatroban were altered by aspirin. Furthermore, argatroban did not increase the bleeding time when given alone and did not further prolong the bleeding time when combined with aspirin. CONCLUSION: The combination of aspirin and argatroban may prove to be an effective therapeutic strategy in the prevention of coronary thrombosis.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1510 - 1518


Adult, Antithrombins, Aspirin, Bleeding Time, Blood Coagulation, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Drug Combinations, Humans, Male, Pipecolic Acids