Thromb Haemost 2019; 119(07): 1037-1047
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1688790
Review Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Loading with Oral P2Y12 Receptor Inhibitors: To Crush or Not to Crush?

Dimitrios Alexopoulos
1  2nd Department of Cardiology, Attikon University Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece
Stylianos Dragasis
2  Department of Cardiology, General Hospital of Attica ''KAT'', Athens, Greece
Nikolaos Kafkas
2  Department of Cardiology, General Hospital of Attica ''KAT'', Athens, Greece
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.
Further Information

Publication History

27 February 2019

23 March 2019

Publication Date:
12 May 2019 (online)


Oral P2Y12 receptor inhibitors represent a mainstay treatment in patients with acute coronary syndrome and those undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. In the setting of ST-elevation myocardial infarction, when early platelet inhibition is highly desirable, the onset of action of oral P2Y12 receptor inhibitors is, however, delayed, likely due to delayed drug absorption. Crushing the tablets, which are to be used for patient loading with an oral P2Y12 receptor inhibitor, has been shown to provide earlier platelet inhibition than standard, integral tablets administration. Chewed ticagrelor tablets may also result in a similar effect. Such findings should be interpreted with caution, mainly due to the small number of patients enrolled and the nature (pharmacodynamic/pharmacokinetic) of the respective studies. Furthermore, in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, who remain comatose, crushing tablets is commonly applied in clinical practice for platelet P2Y12 receptor inhibition. In this review, we focus on current evidence regarding the role of crushed P2Y12 receptor inhibitor pills, analyzing clinical scenarios where most of the promise exists along with future expectations from this type of formulation. Large randomized studies are needed to draw firm conclusions regarding the clinical benefit of ‘crushing’ over the usual ‘not-crushing’ practice.