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Updated 11 February 2013

Dipyridamole

Dipyridamole is an antiplatelet drug most often used to prevent clotting in those who have undergone heart valve replacement surgery, or those who have suffered stroke.

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Dipyridamole is the active ingredient of Persantin, Persantin Retard and Plato.

Dipyridamole is also one of multiple active ingredients found in Asasantin (dipyridamole + aspirin).

General information

Dipyridamole is an antiplatelet drug most often used to prevent clotting in those who have undergone heart valve replacement surgery, or those who have suffered stroke.

It can be used in combination with other blood-thinning medication such as warfarin or aspirin.

Dipyridamole may cause migraine attacks and should be used with caution in those suffering from migraine.

High doses of the drug (or when treatment is started) often cause vasodilatation, a widening of blood vessels which lowers blood pressure and may cause dizziness.

How does it work?

Dipyridamole thins the blood, thereby reducing the likelihood of clot formation.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 3

Available as: Capsules, tablets and injection

What does it do? Dipyridamole has an anti-clotting effect

Overdose risk: Medium

Dependence risk: Low

Available as a generic? Yes

Available on prescription only? Yes

User information

Onset of effect: Within 3 hours.

Duration of action: Up to 8 hours.

Stopping: Premature withdrawal may lead to unwanted blood clotting so do not stop medication without consulting your doctor.

Prolonged use: No problems expected.

Special precautions

Alert your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have low blood pressure
  • you suffer from migraine
  • you suffer from angina
  • you had a recent heart attack
  • you are taking other medication

Pregnancy: Avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Safe to use.

Infants and children: Not intended for use in children. A reduced dose is needed if prescribed.

Elderly: No special precautions need be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: Caution is advised as use may lead to dizziness or light-headedness. Avoid such activities until you know how it affects you.

Alcohol: No special precautions need be taken.

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Headache

x

x

Vertigo

x

x

Nausea/ vomiting

x

x

Diarrhoea

x

x

Flushing

x

x

Dizziness

x

x

Skin rash

x

x

Low blood pressure

x

x

Fast heart rate

x

x

Interactions

Drug interactions

Antacids

Reduced effect of dipyridamole

Cimetidine, ranitidine

Reduced effect of dipyridamole

Pantoprazole, lansoprazole

Reduced effect of dipyridamole

Warfarin

Enhanced thinning of blood

Aspirin

Enhanced thinning of blood

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have low blood pressure, you suffer from migraine or angina, or if you had a recent heart attack.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 400 mg in divided doses. Lower doses of 75-225 mg/day is given when combined with aspirin.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 
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