Effient Side Effects
Because Effient affects the blood's ability to form clots, it has the potential to cause serious side effects, such as bleeding problems, coughing up blood, and kidney problems. However, in many cases, side effects of Effient are minor and easy to treat. For example, headache, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are some of the less serious problems that were seen in clinical trials.
An Introduction to Effient Side EffectsJust like any medicine, Effient® (prasugrel hydrochloride) can cause side effects. As with most drugs that affect the blood's ability to form clots, Effient can cause serious problems, mostly related to the risk of bleeding.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Effient. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
Bothersome or Easily Treated Side Effects of EffientSome Effient side effects are merely bothersome and are not usually immediately dangerous, or are easily treated and are, therefore, also not usually dangerous. These possible side effects include but are not limited to:
- High blood pressure (hypertension) -- in up to 7.5 percent of people
- High cholesterol -- up to 7 percent
- Headache -- up to 5.5 percent
- Back pain -- up to 5 percent
- Shortness of breath -- up to 4.9 percent
- Nausea -- up to 4.6 percent
- Dizziness -- up to 4.1 percent.
It is important to understand that these "side effects" may not actually be related to Effient and may not be true side effects at all. In studies, Effient 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.
In addition, both Effient and Plavix were taken in combination with aspirin, so some of the side effects may actually have been caused by aspirin.
Other, somewhat common Effient side effects (reported in 2 to 4 percent of people) included:
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Chest pain unrelated to heart problems
- Arm or leg pain
- Water retention in the legs, hands, or feet
- Atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart rhythm)
- A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
- Low white blood cells.
Again, it is likely that many of these so-called side effects are not true side effects 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.