Atherothrombosis, thrombus formation as a result of atherosclerotic plaque rupture, is a major modern health problem, often underlying coronary artery disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease. After the treatment of an acute thrombotic episode, long-term therapy is warranted as a secondary prophylaxis of such events and their complications. Because of the importance of platelets’ involvement in the initiation and propagation of thrombosis, antiplatelet drugs have come to the forefront of atherothrombotic disease treatment. Dual antiplatelet therapy of aspirin plus clopidogrel – the current standard – has its benefits, but it also has its limitations with regard to its pharmacologic properties and adverse effects. For these reasons, within the last decade or so, the investigation of novel antiplatelet agents has prospered. Here, we review the main pathways through which platelets participate in acute thrombosis and the interruption of these pathways by using novel antiplatelet agents, including P2Y12 receptor antagonists (the recently approved prasugrel, the probable next-in-line ticagrelor, and others). The need for a more individualized patient therapy is evident; although most of the aforementioned pharmaceuticals have the potential to contribute to this, their clinical utility remains to be seen.