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Tirofiban ball-and-stick.png
Clinical data
Trade names Aggrastat
AHFS/Drugs.com Monograph
MedlinePlus a601210
License data
  • AU:B1
Routes of
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
Pharmacokinetic data
Protein binding 65%
Elimination half-life 2 hours
CAS Number
PubChem CID
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
ECHA InfoCard 100.163.548 OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Chemical and physical data
Formula C22H36N2O5S
Molar mass 440.60 g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
  • O=S(=O)(N[C@H](C(=O)O)Cc2ccc(OCCCCC1CCNCC1)cc2)CCCC
  • InChI=1S/C22H36N2O5S/c1-2-3-16-30(27,28)24-21(22(25)26)17-19-7-9-20(10-8-19)29-15-5-4-6-18-11-13-23-14-12-18/h7-10,18,21,23-24H,2-6,11-17H2,1H3,(H,25,26)/t21-/m0/s1 Yes check.svgY

Tirofiban, sold under the brand name Aggrastat, is an antiplatelet medication. It belongs to a class of antiplatelets named glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors. Tirofiban is a small molecule inhibitor of the protein-protein interaction between fibrinogen and the platelet integrin receptor GP IIb/IIIa and is the first drug candidate whose origins can be traced to a pharmacophore-based virtual screening lead. [2] [3]


Tirofiban has been available as a generic medication in the United States since April 2021. [4]

Medical uses

Tirofiban is indicated to reduce the rate of thrombotic cardiovascular events (combined endpoint of death, myocardial infarction, or refractory ischemia/repeat cardiac procedure) in people with non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome. [1]

Contraindications and precautions

Tirofiban is contraindicated in patients with:

Adverse reactions

Bleeding is the most commonly reported adverse reaction.

Use in pregnancy

Tirofiban has been demonstrated to cross the placenta in pregnant rats and rabbits. Although the doses employed in these studies were a multiple of those used in human beings. no adverse effects on the offspring in both animals have been seen. However, there are no adequate and well controlled studies in pregnant women. Therefore, tirofiban should be used during pregnancy only if clearly indicated.

Nursing mothers: It is not known whether tirofiban is excreted in human milk. However, significant levels of tirofiban are excreted in rat milk. Therefore, nursing should be discontinued during the period of drug administration and the milk discarded. Nursing may resume 24 hours after cessation of treatment with tirofiban.

Pediatric use

Safety and effectiveness in children have not been established.

Other precautions and laboratory exams

The activated partial thromboplastin time is the most reliable coagulation parameter and should be obtained regularly during treatment, particular if a bleeding episode occurs that may be associated with tirofiban therapy. Other important hematological parameters are platelet count, clotting time, hematocrit and hemoglobin. Proper technique regarding artery site access for sheath placement and removal of sheath should be followed. Arterial sheaths should be removed when the patient's activated clotting time is < 180 seconds or 2 to 6 hours following withdrawal of heparin.

Side effects

The following side effects were noted under treatment with tirofiban and heparin (and aspirin, if tolerated). Other drugs were used as necessary.

The major adverse effect is bleeding on local sites of clinical intervention and systemically (regarding parts of the body or the whole body system). Major bleeding has occurred in 1.4% of patients and minor bleeding in 10.5%. Transfusions were required to terminate bleeding and to improve bleeding-related anemia in 4.0% of all patients. Geriatric patients have experienced more bleeding episodes than younger, women more than men.

Thrombocytopenia was more often seen in the tirofiban + heparin group (1.5%) than in the heparin control group (0.8%). This adverse effect was usually readily reversible within days.

Positive fecal and urine hemoglobin tests have also been reported.

Post-marketing events have been the occurrence of intracranial bleeding, retroperitoneal bleeding, pulmonary hemorrhage and spinal-epidural hematoma. Fatal bleeding have been reported rarely.

Sometimes, thrombocytopenia was associated with chills, low-grade fever or bleeding complications (see above).

Cases of hypersensitivity including anaphylaxis have occurred.


The concomitant application of warfarin or other oral anticoagulants may increase the risk of serious bleeding events. The decision whether maintenance therapy with these drugs should be discontinued during tirofiban treatment has to be made by the responsible clinician.


Tirofiban has a rapid onset and short duration of action after proper IV administration. Coagulation parameters turn to normal 4 to 8 hours after the drug is withdrawn.


Tirofiban is a synthetic, non-peptide inhibitor of the interaction of fibrinogen with the integrin glycoprotein IIb/IIIa on human platelets. The Merck chemistry team of George Hartman, Melissa Egbertson and Wasyl Halczenko developed tirofiban from a lead compound discovered in focused screening of small molecule replacements of the key arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (Arg-Gly-Asp) subunit of fibrinogen. Computation of the distance between the charged Arg and Asp sites in fibrinogen provided guidance leading to directed screening success. Tirofiban constitutes an antithrombotic, specifically an inhibitor of platelet aggregation.

Tirofiban is a modified version of a molecule found in the venom of the saw-scaled viper Echis carinatus . [5] [6]


The drug is marketed under the brand name Aggrastat in the US by Medicure Pharma, in China by Eddingpharm, and in the rest of the world by Correvio International Sàrl.

According to the US Orange Book, it was first approved in the US on 20 April 2000. Patent numbers 5733919; 5965581 and 5972967 all expired in October 2016. Patent 5978698 expired in October 2017. Patent 6136794 expired in January 2019. Patent 6770660 expires in June 2023.

Related Research Articles

An antiplatelet drug (antiaggregant), also known as a platelet agglutination inhibitor or platelet aggregation inhibitor, is a member of a class of pharmaceuticals that decrease platelet aggregation and inhibit thrombus formation. They are effective in the arterial circulation where anticoagulants have little effect.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anticoagulant</span> Class of drugs

Anticoagulants, commonly known as blood thinners, are chemical substances that prevent or reduce coagulation of blood, prolonging the clotting time. Some of them occur naturally in blood-eating animals such as leeches and mosquitoes, where they help keep the bite area unclotted long enough for the animal to obtain some blood. As a class of medications, anticoagulants are used in therapy for thrombotic disorders. Oral anticoagulants (OACs) are taken by many people in pill or tablet form, and various intravenous anticoagulant dosage forms are used in hospitals. Some anticoagulants are used in medical equipment, such as sample tubes, blood transfusion bags, heart–lung machines, and dialysis equipment. One of the first anticoagulants, warfarin, was initially approved as a rodenticide.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Platelet</span> Component of blood aiding in coagulation

Platelets, also called thrombocytes, are a component of blood whose function is to react to bleeding from blood vessel injury by clumping, thereby initiating a blood clot. Platelets have no cell nucleus; they are fragments of cytoplasm that are derived from the megakaryocytes of the bone marrow or lung, which then enter the circulation. Platelets are found only in mammals, whereas in other vertebrates, thrombocytes circulate as intact mononuclear cells.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coagulation</span> Process by which blood changes from liquid into a gel, forming blood clots

Coagulation, also known as clotting, is the process by which blood changes from a liquid to a gel, forming a blood clot. It potentially results in hemostasis, the cessation of blood loss from a damaged vessel, followed by repair. The mechanism of coagulation involves activation, adhesion and aggregation of platelets, as well as deposition and maturation of fibrin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Immune thrombocytopenic purpura</span> Medical condition with rash and bleeding risk

Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), also known as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura or immune thrombocytopenia, is a type of thrombocytopenic purpura defined as an isolated low platelet count with a normal bone marrow in the absence of other causes of low platelets. It causes a characteristic red or purple bruise-like rash and an increased tendency to bleed. Two distinct clinical syndromes manifest as an acute condition in children and a chronic condition in adults. The acute form often follows an infection and spontaneously resolves within two months. Chronic immune thrombocytopenia persists longer than six months with a specific cause being unknown.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Clopidogrel</span> Antiplatelet medication

Clopidogrel — sold under the brand name Plavix, among others — is an antiplatelet medication used to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in those at high risk. It is also used together with aspirin in heart attacks and following the placement of a coronary artery stent. It is taken by mouth. Its effect starts about two hours after intake and lasts for five days.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Abciximab</span>

Abciximab, a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor antagonist manufactured by Janssen Biologics BV and distributed by Eli Lilly under the trade name ReoPro, is a platelet aggregation inhibitor mainly used during and after coronary artery procedures like angioplasty to prevent platelets from sticking together and causing thrombus formation within the coronary artery. It is a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glanzmann's thrombasthenia</span> Medical condition

Glanzmann's thrombasthenia is an abnormality of the platelets. It is an extremely rare coagulopathy, in which the platelets contain defective or low levels of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa (GpIIb/IIIa), which is a receptor for fibrinogen. As a result, no fibrinogen bridging of platelets to other platelets can occur, and the bleeding time is significantly prolonged.

In medicine, glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors, also GpIIb/IIIa inhibitors, is a class of antiplatelet agents.

In medicine, glycoprotein IIb/IIIa is an integrin complex found on platelets. It is a receptor for fibrinogen and von Willebrand factor and aids platelet activation. The complex is formed via calcium-dependent association of gpIIb and gpIIIa, a required step in normal platelet aggregation and endothelial adherence. Platelet activation by ADP leads to the aforementioned conformational change in platelet gpIIb/IIIa receptors that induces binding to fibrinogen. The gpIIb/IIIa receptor is a target of several drugs including abciximab, eptifibatide, and tirofiban.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eptifibatide</span> Chemical compound

Eptifibatide, is an antiplatelet drug of the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor class. Eptifibatide is a cyclic heptapeptide derived from a disintegrin protein found in the venom of the southeastern pygmy rattlesnake. It belongs to the class of the arginin-glycin-aspartat-mimetics and reversibly binds to platelets. Eptifibatide has a short half-life. The drug is the third inhibitor of GPIIb/IIIa that has found broad acceptance after the specific antibody abciximab and the non-peptide tirofiban entered the global market.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bivalirudin</span>

Bivalirudin (Bivalitroban), sold under the brand names Angiomax and Angiox and manufactured by The Medicines Company, is a direct thrombin inhibitor (DTI).

Direct thrombin inhibitors (DTIs) are a class of medication that act as anticoagulants by directly inhibiting the enzyme thrombin. Some are in clinical use, while others are undergoing clinical development. Several members of the class are expected to replace heparin and warfarin in various clinical scenarios.

The Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction, or TIMI Study Group, is an Academic Research Organization (ARO) affiliated with Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School dedicated to advancing the knowledge and care of patients with cardiovascular disease. The TIMI Study Group provides robust expertise in the key aspects of a clinical trial, including academic leadership, global trial management, biostatistics, clinical event adjudication, safety desk, medical hotline, and core laboratories. The group has its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts.

Platelet membrane glycoproteins are surface glycoproteins found on platelets (thrombocytes) which play a key role in hemostasis. When the blood vessel wall is damaged, platelet membrane glycoproteins interact with the extracellular matrix.

Thromboelastometry (TEM), previously named rotational thromboelastography (ROTEG) or rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM), is an established viscoelastic method for hemostasis testing in whole blood. It is a modification of traditional thromboelastography (TEG).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Arginylglycylaspartic acid</span> Chemical compound

Arginylglycylaspartic acid (RGD) is the most common peptide motif responsible for cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM), found in species ranging from Drosophila to humans. Cell adhesion proteins called integrins recognize and bind to this sequence, which is found within many matrix proteins, including fibronectin, fibrinogen, vitronectin, osteopontin, and several other adhesive extracellular matrix proteins. The discovery of RGD and elucidation of how RGD binds to integrins has led to the development of a number of drugs and diagnostics, while the peptide itself is used ubiquitously in bioengineering. Depending on the application and the integrin targeted, RGD can be chemically modified or replaced by a similar peptide which promotes cell adhesion.

Adenosine diphosphate (ADP) receptor inhibitors are a drug class of antiplatelet agents, used in the treatment of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or in preventive treatment for patients who are in risk of thromboembolism, myocardial infarction or a stroke. These drugs antagonize the P2Y12 platelet receptors and therefore prevent the binding of ADP to the P2Y12 receptor. This leads to a decrease in aggregation of platelets, prohibiting thrombus formation. The P2Y12 receptor is a surface bound protein found on blood platelets. They belong to G protein-coupled purinergic receptors (GPCR) and are chemoreceptors for ADP.

Direct thrombin inhibitors (DTIs) are a class of anticoagulant drugs that can be used to prevent and treat embolisms and blood clots caused by various diseases. They inhibit thrombin, a serine protease which affects the coagulation cascade in many ways. DTIs have undergone rapid development since the 90's. With technological advances in genetic engineering the production of recombinant hirudin was made possible which opened the door to this new group of drugs. Before the use of DTIs the therapy and prophylaxis for anticoagulation had stayed the same for over 50 years with the use of heparin derivatives and warfarin which have some well known disadvantages. DTIs are still under development, but the research focus has shifted towards factor Xa inhibitors, or even dual thrombin and fXa inhibitors that have a broader mechanism of action by both inhibiting factor IIa (thrombin) and Xa. A recent review of patents and literature on thrombin inhibitors has demonstrated that the development of allosteric and multi-mechanism inhibitors might lead the way to a safer anticoagulant.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Multiple electrode aggregometry</span>

Multiplate multiple electrode aggregometry (MEA) is a test of platelet function in whole blood. The test can be used to diagnose platelet disorders, monitor antiplatelet therapy, and is also investigated as a potential predictor of transfusion requirements and bleeding risk in cardiac surgery.


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  4. "Tirofiban: FDA-Approved Drugs". U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  5. "Saw-Scaled Vipers". University of Edinburgh. Archived from the original on 2002-03-09. Retrieved 2008-06-23.
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Further reading