Platelet function assays may be ordered to monitor therapy with antiplatelet medications. Patients whose test results indicate possible aspirin or clopidogrel non-responsiveness may need an adjustment to the dosage of the current medication or an alternative anticoagulant therapy. For example, if aspirin does not appear to be effective, the physician may prescribe clopidogrel instead. Patients who do not exhibit a satisfactory response to clopidogrel therapy may be prescribed alternative antiplatelet medications such as prasugrel, ticagrelor, tirobifan or other P2Y12 receptor inhibitors.
Research studies and clinical trials continue to provide more clear-cut recommendations regarding antiplatelet medication response testing, interpretation of results, and appropriate actions based on the results. The clinical laboratory's role will most likely expand, if future studies conclude that testing for individual response to these medications improves patient outcomes.