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ESC statement on the CHARISMA Trial on Clopidogrel: Patients should continue treatment as advised by their physicians

Acute Coronary Syndromes

Sophia Antipolis, 17 March 2006:

While the CHARISMA trial (Clopidogrel for High Atherothrombotic Risk and Ischemic Stabilization, Management and Avoidance) results have shown no benefit overall of the combination of Clopidogrel and aspirin in the long term in stable vascular patients, and some indication of harm in patients in primary prevention, the ESC would like to remind patients that dual antiplatelet therapy is an essential, approved and recommended therapy for one year in patients post ACS without ST-segment elevation, and for at least six months post stenting.

“Patients taking Clopidogrel (Plavix®) should not stop taking the anti-clotting drug without first consulting their physician,” said ESC spokesperson on Acute Coronary Syndromes, Professor Freek Verheugt from Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands. “Patients who stop taking Clopidogrel without seeking the advice of their doctor may be putting themselves in grave danger.”

For more information, please see current  ESC Guidelines for “Percutaneous Coronary Intervention” (1) and “Acute Coronary Syndromes in Patients Presenting Without Persistent ST-Segment Elevation” (2).

The CHARISMA trial was presented at the Annual Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology in March 2006 and simultaneously published on the website of  The New England Journal of Medicine.

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC)

The ESC represents more than 45,000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of the European population by reducing the impact of cardiovascular disease.

The ESC achieves this through a variety of scientific and educational activities including the coordination of: clinical practice guidelines, education courses and initiatives, pan-European surveys on specific disease areas and the ESC Annual Congress, the largest medical meeting in Europe. Furthermore, the ESC promotes cardiovascular disease prevention messages to the general public, most notably during its annual 'For Your Heart's Sake' event, a fun yet educational event offering risk assessment and prevention advice, held in parallel to the Congress each year.


(1) European Heart Journal 23, 1809–1840: 2002; Michel E. Bertrand, Chair, Maarten L. Simoons, Keith A. A. Fox, Lars C. Wallentin, Christian W. Hamm, Eugene McFadden, Pim J. De Feyter, Giuseppe Specchia, Witold Ruzyllo, “Acute Coronary Syndromes in Patients Presenting without persistente ST-segment elevation (Management of).”

(2) European Heart Journal 26, 804-847: 2005; S. Silber (Chairperson), P. Albertsson, F. Fernandez-Avilès, P. G. Camici, A. Colombo, C. Hamm, E. Jorgensen, J. Marco, J-E. Nordrehaug, W. Ruzyllo, P. Urban, G. W. Stone, W. Wijns, “Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (Guidelines for).”