Current evidence suggests that antiplatelet therapy may offer a promising approach to managing complications associated with sickle cell disease (SCD), as discussed in a comprehensive review recently published in Cureus.

“By targeting platelet activation and aggregation, antiplatelet agents have the potential to mitigate vaso-occlusive events, reduce inflammation, and improve microvascular blood flow,” the study’s authors explained.

Several antiplatelet agents have demonstrated efficacy in managing platelet-related complications in patients with SCD, including aspirin, clopidogrel, prasugrel, and ticagrelor. These agents target different aspects of platelet function to reduce platelet activation, aggregation, and adhesion.

When used in combinations or as monotherapy, these agents show promise in potentially reducing the occurrence and severity of vaso-occlusive events, stroke, and acute chest syndrome in individuals with SCD. However, it is crucial to adopt a personalized approach to antiplatelet therapy, taking into account factors such as bleeding risk and potential drug interactions. Close monitoring is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the therapy.

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Aspirin, in particular, is a widely used antiplatelet agent in SCD due to its well-established mechanism of action. It effectively decreases platelet aggregation and vasoconstriction by irreversibly inhibiting the cyclooxygenase-1 enzyme.

The recommended aspirin dose for children with SCD for primary prevention of vaso-occlusive events is typically 2 to 5 mg/kg per day. Moreover, in patients with SCD who have experienced an ischemic stroke, aspirin is used as adjunctive therapy in combination with blood transfusions.

Clinical trials and studies have shown potential benefits of low-dose aspirin therapy in reducing the incidence of vaso-occlusive events and acute chest syndrome in children with SCD. However, the precise magnitude of the benefit and optimal duration of therapy require further investigation.

Although aspirin is generally well-tolerated by most individuals with SCD, close monitoring for bleeding or adverse effects is essential, especially in high-risk patients.

Other antiplatelet agents, such as clopidogrel, prasugrel, and ticagrelor, have demonstrated potential benefit in managing sickle cell disease but further research and clinical trials are needed to establish their efficacy, safety, and optimal use in this context.

Overall, while the current evidence supports the efficacy of antiplatelet agents, especially aspirin, in managing SCD, the field is still evolving. Further research is needed to determine the optimal dosing, long-term effects, and safety profiles of antiplatelet therapy in SCD.

As research progresses and evidence accumulates, antiplatelet therapy may become an essential component of comprehensive disease management for patients with SCD, ultimately enhancing their quality of life and reducing the burden of complications.


Naramreddy S, Varma A, Taksande A, Meshram RJ. The role of antiplatelet in the management of sickle cell disease patients. Cureus. Published online July 18, 2023. doi:10.7759/cureus.42058