Sudden Visual Loss Medication

Updated: Dec 11, 2019
  • Author: Jean Deschênes, MD, FRCSC; Chief Editor: Edsel B Ing, MD, PhD, MBA, MEd, MPH, MA, FRCSC  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy in sudden visual loss are to reduce morbidity and prevent complications.


Antiplatelet agents

Class Summary

Inhibit platelet function perhaps by blocking cyclooxygenase and subsequent aggregation. Antiplatelet therapy has been shown to reduce mortality by reducing the risk of fatal strokes, fatal myocardial infarctions, and vascular death in patients at risk.

Aspirin (Ascriptin, Aspirtab, Aspercin, Bayer Aspirin, Buffinol)

Irreversibly inhibits the formation of cyclooxygenase, thus preventing the formation of thromboxane A2, a platelet aggregator and vasoconstrictor. Platelet inhibition lasts for the life of the cell (approximately 10 d).

Clopidogrel (Plavix)

Selectively inhibits ADP binding to platelet receptor and subsequent ADP-mediated activation of glycoprotein GPIIb/IIIa complex, thereby inhibiting platelet aggregation.

Aspirin and dipyridamole (Aggrenox)

Aspirin irreversibly inhibits formation of cyclooxygenase, thus preventing formation of thromboxane A2, a platelet aggregator and vasoconstrictor. Platelet-inhibition lasts for life of cell (approximately 10 d).

Dipyridamole is a platelet adhesion inhibitor that possibly inhibits RBC uptake of adenosine, itself an inhibitor of platelet reactivity. In addition, may inhibit phosphodiesterase activity leading to increased cyclic-3', 5'-adenosine monophosphate within platelets and formation of the potent platelet activator thromboxane A2.

Each tablet contains 25 mg aspirin and 200 mg dipyridamole for total of 50 mg aspirin and 400 mg dipyridamole per day.