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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1743--1746

Recurrent Ischemic Strokes: “Discontinuation of Antiplatelet Drugs Appears to be an Important Preventable Cause”

Department of Neurology, St. John's Medical College Hospital, Sarjapura Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Thomas Mathew
Professor and Head, Department of Neurology, St. John's Medical College Hospital, Sarjapura Road, Bengaluru - 560 034, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.333533

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Background: Antiplatelet therapy (APT) is an integral part of secondary stroke prevention. Noncompliance to APT is an important factor in stroke recurrence. In this study, we have evaluated the reasons for noncompliance to APT. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify the various causes of nonadherence to APT in recurrent stroke patients. Material and Methods: The study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital in south India with a huge stroke burden. The study period was from October 2017 to September 2018. A total of 60 consecutive patients of recurrent stroke who were nonadherent to antiplatelet therapy were evaluated for various factors that prevented compliance. Results: During the 12-month study period among 604 ischemic stroke patients, 128 (21%) had recurrent strokes. Of this 128, 60 (46.8%) were due to discontinuation of APT. The main factor for nonadherence to APT was lack of awareness about the need for lifelong medication (41/60; 68.3%). 10 patients (16.7%) stopped treatment as they opted for alternative therapy and 4 (6.7%) discontinued antiplatelets due to side effects. A small proportion of the patients (3.3%) cited financial constraints and forgetfulness as the issue, while 1.7% had difficulty in finding assistance to administer medicine. 27 (45%) patients had recurrent stroke within 2-15 days of stopping APT. Conclusions: The main reason for nonadherence to antiplatelet therapy is lack of awareness about the need for lifelong antiplatelet therapy. Stroke patients should be educated about the importance of lifelong antiplatelet therapy to prevent recurrent strokes.


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