Brilinta Side Effects
Shortness of breath, cough, and headache are some common side effects of Brilinta. However, the drug is generally well tolerated, and many reactions are easy to treat. Because Brilinta may increase the risk of major, life-threatening bleeding, it's important to watch for bleeding that takes longer than usual to stop or such things as nosebleeds, blood in the stool, or vomiting blood.
Just like any medicine, Brilinta™ (ticagrelor) can cause side effects. Because it affects the blood's ability to form clots, some of these adverse reactions can be quite serious. Many reported problems are related to the risk of bleeding.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Brilinta. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
Some Brilinta side effects are merely bothersome and/or are easily treated. In either case, they are not usually dangerous. These include but are not limited to:
- Shortness of breath -- in up to 13.8 percent of people
- Headache -- up to 6.5 percent
- Cough -- up to 4.9 percent
- Dizziness -- up to 4.5 percent
- Nausea -- up to 4.3 percent.
It is important to understand that these "side effects" may not actually be related to Brilinta and may not be true side effects at all. In studies, Brilinta was compared to a similar medication (clopidogrel, also known as Plavix®), not to a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients).
Studies that compare similar medications instead of using a placebo have trouble differentiating between true side effects and problems caused by unrelated factors, such as the disease itself. Also, both Brilinta and Plavix were taken in combination with aspirin, so some of the side effects may actually have been caused by aspirin.
Other, somewhat common Brilinta side effects (reported in 3 to 4.2 percent of people) included:
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Chest pain unrelated to heart problems
- Atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart rhythm)
- Back pain
- Chest pain.
Again, it is likely that many of these so-called side effects are not true adverse reactions at all. For instance, atrial fibrillation is most likely due to heart damage caused by the heart attack itself or other risk factors, not by the medication.