Brilinta is approved to help prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other problems in people who have recently had a heart attack or who have certain heart conditions. It can also be used after an angioplasty to help prevent blood clots from forming in the stent. "Off-label" uses of Brilinta include preventing peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Brilinta™ (ticagrelor) is a prescription antiplatelet medication that is used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular-related deaths in people who have acute coronary syndrome (ACS). In people with ACS who are treated with angioplasty, Brilinta also helps to prevent the stent from forming clots.
Acute coronary syndrome is a term used to describe certain types of heart diseases, including unstable angina and certain types of heart attacks. For people with a history of ACS, using Brilinta in combination with aspirin has been shown to decrease the risk for a heart attack, stroke, and heart-related death.
Brilinta should not be started in individuals who will be having a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. For people already taking Brilinta, it is best to stop the drug five days before a CABG surgery, if possible (this is not always possible).
Angioplasty is also known as percutaneous intervention (PCI). Angioplasty involves threading a small tube known as a catheter through a large blood vessel (often in the upper thigh) all the way to the heart. Once the tube reaches the blocked artery in the heart, a small balloon is inflated to open up the blockage. When used for treating a blocked coronary artery, angioplasty usually involves placing a stent (a small mesh tube) to help keep the artery open.
Angioplasty does not change the underlying risk factors that led to the blocked artery, such as high cholesterol, and the stent itself (as well as other heart arteries) may become blocked in the future. Brilinta, together with aspirin, is prescribed to help prevent problems such as heart attacks or strokes due to future clots, as well as to keep clots from forming in the stent.
It is important to take Brilinta and aspirin as long as your healthcare provider thinks it is necessary. Depending on your particular situation, this may be for a longer or shorter period compared to others. Other measures to reduce your risk factors should also be taken, such as lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol.