Clopidogrel Response Variability: Review of the Literature and Practical Considerations

Carrie S. Oliphant, Brian J. Trevarrow, Paul P. Dobesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin and a P2Y12 inhibitor is standard therapy following acute coronary syndrome and percutaneous coronary intervention. Despite the use of potent antiplatelet agents, vascular events continue to occur. Lack of response to clopidogrel therapy has been widely investigated using various methods of platelet function testing. These studies have consistently found an association between poor clopidogrel response and an increased risk of vascular events. Strategies to overcome this problem include higher clopidogrel doses or the use of an alternative P2Y12 agent. To date, the majority of studies investigating tailored antiplatelet therapy have failed to show any reduction in clinical events likely due to the low-risk population studied. Despite this lack of benefit from altering therapy, platelet function testing may be done in certain patient populations. Patients at high risk of deleterious outcomes from stent thrombosis may be an appropriate patient population for platelet function testing to ensure adequate response to therapy. In addition, emerging data suggests a potential role for platelet function testing to assess for bleeding risk. The purpose of this article is to review the key studies demonstrating response variability to clopidogrel therapy, strategies to overcome variability, and practical considerations for the clinician.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • P2Y inhibitors
  • clopidogrel
  • clopidogrel response
  • high platelet reactivity
  • platelet function testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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