, Volume 63, Issue 7, pp 637-647
Date: 17 Sep 2012

Pharmacological Treatment of Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease

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Atherosclerosis is a disease process that affects the coronary, cerebral and peripheral arterial circulation. While great emphasis has been placed on the aggressive pharmacological management of coronary artery disease, less attention has been paid to the pharmacological management of peripheral vascular disease, despite its significant morbidity and mortality. The purpose of medical management in peripheral arterial disease is to relieve symptoms of claudication and to prevent thrombotic vascular events. These goals are best achieved through aggressive risk factor modification and pharmacotherapy. Risk factor modification includes smoking cessation, adequate control of blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as aggressive glycaemic control in patients with diabetes mellitus. Antiplatelet therapy and relief of claudication is also achieved through pharmacotherapy. With aggressive risk factor modification and adequate pharmacotherapy, patients with peripheral arterial disease can have an improved quality of life as well as prolonged survival.