Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a debilitating atherosclerotic disease of the lower limbs and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Treatment goals should be aimed at providing symptom relief (claudication) and reducing the risk of systemic cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In the development of pharmaceutical treatment for PAD, aggressive non-pharmacological intervention and pharmacological treatment of the risk factors associated with PAD should be given. Antiplatelet therapy, aspirin, should be given to every PAD patient if there are no contraindications. Should symptoms worsen or intolerance to aspirin develop, ticlopidine or clopidogrel would be the alternative. Several pharmacological agents have been developed to improve the functional state of the claudicant and to relieve the symptoms. Many studied drugs have shown either no, small or potential benefit. With future development of new drugs for PAD, there is an absolute need for very strict, well-designed protocols in order to evaluate the claudication distance and progression of the disease, as well as the reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
- Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality
- Intermittent claudication
- Peripheral artery disease
- Pharmacological treatment