Why Not Dipyridamole: a Review of Current Guidelines and Re-evaluation of Utility in the Modern Era

Mahmoud Allahham, A. Lerman, D. Atar, Y. Birnbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Dipyridamole is an old anti-platelet and coronary vasodilator agent that inhibits platelet phosphodiesterase and increases interstitial adenosine levels. Its use in coronary artery disease (CAD) has fallen out of practice in the modern era with the advent of new anti-platelet agents, and most modern guidelines on the management of CAD either neglect to comment on its utility or outright recommend against it. The majority of the studies used in these guidelines are outdated and took place in an era when high doses of aspirin were used and statins were not widely utilized. There is growing evidence in rat models of dipyridamole’s synergy with statins through adenosine modulation resulting in significant myocardial protection against ischemia–reperfusion injury and limitation of infract size. The data in human studies are limited but show a similar potential synergy between dipyridamole and statins. It would thus be prudent to reconsider the recommendations against the use of dipyridamole in CAD and to re-evaluate its possible role and potential benefits through well-designed randomized trials combining it with statins, low-dose aspirin, and/or other anti-platelet agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-532
Number of pages8
JournalCardiovascular Drugs and Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Adenosine
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Dipyridamole
  • Infarct size
  • Phosphodiesterase inhibitors
  • Platelets
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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