It has recently been established that platelets are involved at all stages of atherosclerotic disease. A major platelet mediated process is the acute vessel closure at the site of atherosclerotic plaque rupture and there is emerging evidence for platelet adhesion to endothelial cells in the early stage of atherosclerotic disease. This, through engagement of other cells, leads to the development of the atherosclerotic plaque. Beside dietary, cholesterol- and lipid-lowering, and other pharmaceutical approaches antiplatelet therapy plays an important part in the treatment of atherosclerosis and its multifarious clinical manifestations. Antiplatelet therapy and the currently approved substances for oral (acetylsalicylic acid, dipyridamole, cilostazol, ticlopidin and clopidogrel) and parenteral (acetylsalicylic acid, abciximab, eptifibatide and tirofiban) administration are discussed in the following section. Attention is given to each single agent and its mechanism of action. Differences in pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties are elucidated and outlook on future antiplatelet strategies is discussed.