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Ticagrelor is used to help prevent heart attack and stroke in people with heart problems (unstable angina). This may also be used to prevent blood clots after certain heart surgeries. Ticagrelor blocks platelets from sticking together and prevents them from forming harmful clots. This is an antiplatelet drug that keeps blood flowing smoothly in your body. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription. 

A heart attack happens when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked. The blockage is most often a build-up of cholesterol, fat, or other substance which forms a plaque in the arteries that feed the heart. The plaque eventually breaks away and forms a clot. The plaque eventually breaks away and forms a clot. The interrupted blood flow can damage or destroy part of the heart muscle. Common heart attack signs and symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea, indigestion, heartburn, or abdominal pain
  • Light-headedness or sudden dizziness 
  • Fatigue

A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced. It prevents brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells begin to die in minutes. A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can reduce brain damage and other complications. If you or someone you’re with maybe having a stroke, pay particular attention to the time the symptoms began. Some treatment options are most effective when given soon after a stroke begins. 

Unstable angina is a condition in which your heart does not get enough blood flow and oxygen. Angina is a type of chest discomfort caused by poor blood flow through the blood vessels of the heart muscle. The most common cause of unstable angina is reduced blood flow to the heart muscle because the coronary arteries are narrowed by fatty build-ups which can rupture causing injury to the coronary blood vessel resulting in blood clotting which blocks the flow of blood to the heart muscle. 

How does Ticagrelor work?

Ticagrelor works by preventing the action of a natural substance called adenosine diphosphate (ADP). ADP is one of the chemicals in the body that causes platelets to clump together and start the process of blood clotting. This drug binds to a specific area on the platelets known as the P2Y12 receptors. This is thought to prevent ADP from activating the platelets and making them clump together. This decreases the likelihood of clots forming in the blood. A blood clot that forms inside the blood vessels is known as thrombosis and can be dangerous. It can cause a blockage that cuts off the blood supply to an organ. A blockage in the arteries supplying blood to the heart or brain can cause a heart attack or stroke. 

Blood clots and blockages mainly result from a build-up of atherosclerosis on the inside of blood vessels. Atherosclerosis is a build-up of cholesterol and fat cells that narrows the blood vessels and makes their interiors rough and bumpy. This makes it more difficult for blood to flow through the vessels and increases the likelihood of clots forming in the vessels.

How to use Ticagrelor?

Ticagrelor is to be taken by mouth usually twice a day. You may take each dose with or without a meal. If you have trouble swallowing Ticagrelor, you may crush the tablet. Mix the crushed tablet with water in a glass, then drink the mixture right away. Refill the glass with water, stir, and drink to make sure you take your entire dose. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster and your risk of side effects will increase. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember if you missed it. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.

What are the side effects of Ticagrelor?

Common side effects:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Back pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bleeding more easily 
  • Bruising 

Tell your doctor right away if you have these side effects:

  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Coughing or vomiting that produces blood or blood clots
  • Red or black stools that look like tar
  • Colored urine (red, pink, or brown)
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Severe bleeding or uncontrollable bleeding 

Call for medical help if you have these signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Hives or itching
  • Trouble or difficulty breathing 
  • Swelling of your face, lips, throat, mouth, or tongue 

Warnings and Precautions 

  • This medicine may lessen your ability to drive or operate machinery safely. Do not operate machinery or drive until you know how this medicine affects you and you are sure it won’t affect your performance.
  • Certain medicines should not be used during breastfeeding or pregnancy. However, other medicines may be safely used in breastfeeding or pregnancy providing the benefits to the mother outweighs the risks to the unborn baby. Don’t forget to inform your doctor if you are pregnant or have plans to become pregnant, before using any medication. 
  • Let your doctor know if you ever had an allergic reaction to this drug. Tell also if you have any allergies. This may have an ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. 
  • Ticagrelor is used with caution in people with increased risk of bleeding, who have recently had bleeding in the gut, taking other medicines that increase the risk of bleeding, who experience fainting related to a slow heart rate, or history of asthma.
  • This is not recommended for use in people with any active bleeding, who have recently had bleeding inside the skull, who have moderate to severely decrease liver function, or for people having kidney dialysis. 
  • If you are a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, consult your doctor first before taking Ticagrelor.