A systematic review on use of GPIIb/IIIa inhibitors in NSTEACS has been updated as part of the Annals of Emergency Medicine‘s Evidence Based Emergency Medicine series. The bottom line:
In patients with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes who do not undergo early percutaneous coronary intervention, administration of platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa (GPIIb/IIIa) inhibitors, given in addition to aspirin and unfractionated heparin, does not reduce 30-day or 6-month mortality. For the composite endpoint of myocardial infarction or death, there was modest benefit at 30 days and 6 months; however, there was an increased risk of major hemorrhage among those receiving GPIIb/IIIa inhibitors.
Update: Use of Platelet Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Inhibitors in Patients With Unstable Angina and Non-ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction
Annals of Emergency Medicine Volume 56, Issue 5 , Pages e1-e2, November 2010
Compare this with the recommendations of the European Resuscitation Council who provide the following summary regarding this class of drug:
Gp IIB/IIIA receptor inhibition is the common final link of platelet aggregation. Eptifibatide and tirofiban lead to reversible inhibition, while abciximab leads to irreversible inhibition of the Gp IIB/IIIA receptor. Older studies from the pre-stent era mostly support the use of this class of drugs. Newer studies mostly document neutral or worsened outcomes. Finally in most supporting, as well as neutral or opposing studies, bleeding occurred in more patients treated with Gp IIB/IIIA receptor blockers. There are insufficient data to support routine pre-treatment with Gp IIB/IIIA inhibitors in patients with STEMI or non-STEMI-ACS. For high-risk patients with non-STEMI-ACS, in-hospital upstream treatment with eptifibatide or tirofiban may be acceptable whereas abciximab may be given only in the context of PCI. Newer alternatives for antiplatelet treatment should be considered because of the increased bleeding risk with Gp IIB/IIIA inhibitors when used with heparins.
European Resuscitation Council Guidelines for Resuscitation 2010 Section 5. Initial management of acute coronary syndromes
Resuscitation 81 (2010) 1353–1363 – full text downloadable