From Cost to Side Effects: 9 Things to Know About Brilinta for Stroke Prevention
Category: Healthy Living
Posted on February 2, 2021
Vanessa is a health writer and blogging expert. Her specialities are medicine, health and wellness. She is proud to call Vancouver, BC her home where she enjoys the ocean and mountains with her dog Mr. ChowChow.
Did you know that one in every six deaths in the US was caused by a stroke in 2018? This health problem is so prevalent that someone has a stroke every 4 seconds in this country. Medical experts and doctors felt the urge to develop a drug that helps to prevent a stroke and other similar cardiovascular diseases.
This is how Brilinta appeared on the market. The Brilinta cost depends on various factors, but this drug can sometimes make the difference between life and death. Brilinta is administered to certain individuals to prolong their lives and prevent unfortunate events such as heart attacks and stroke.
Keep reading to learn more about how much does Brilinta cost and how effective this heart attack medication is.
1. Brilinta Prevents the Formation of Blood Clots
Brilinta is the brand name of an active prescription drug called ticagrelor. This type of drug belongs to the antiplatelets category. It is a platelet inhibitor and it can be taken in the form of pills. Patients who are administered Brilinta usually take it twice a day.
To understand how Brilinta works, let's talk about blood platelets first. If you cut yourself or scratch your skin, blood might start to go out. To prevent bleeding to death, your body immediately sends white blood cells and platelets to form a seal on your cut.
Platelets are substances that help create the seal over your injury, so you don't get infected. Although this is a good thing in general, it can be a bad thing for those who have cardiovascular disease.
For example, platelets might form a buildup inside a damaged vein or artery. This can lead to a stroke and in some cases, it can be fatal. This is where antiplatelet drugs such as Brilinta come into the picture.
Brilinta prevents your body from producing so many platelets. This means that there is a smaller chance for your veins and arteries to develop a blood clot or blockage. As a result, you're less likely to have a stroke and your life is prolonged.
2. Studies Show That Brilinta Can Significantly Decrease the Risk of Stroke
Brilinta is already used on thousands of patients in the United States with great success. It can be used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, as well as other major heart problems. It's also useful for people with the acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
This is a condition in which the heart receives less blood than normal. Some people with ACS have a stent installed on a major vein that supplies the heart with blood. This stent is a small metallic device that keeps the artery open, ensuring proper blood flow to the heart.
Numerous studies have looked at the effectiveness of Brilinta as it's administered to patients. For example, one study looked at patients who took Brilinta with aspirin for a year. The drug was administered twice a day.
The study concluded that Brilinta can lower the risk of having a heart attack by about 15%. Another study examined patients who took Brilinta as a treatment method for ACS. These patients also had a stent installed on one of the heart's veins.
The results were impressive. Those who took Brilinta with aspirin had decreased their risk of developing blood clots by over 30%. This treatment method was administered for more than a year and it prolonged the lifespan of the patients.
As you can probably see, clinical studies validate the efficacy of Brilinta. This drug is usually taken twice a day with aspirin. It comes in dosages of 60mg and 90mg. However, it's paramount for the patient to follow the doctor's guidelines to minimize or prevent any side effects associated with this drug.
3. Serious Side Effects Are Rare for Those Who Take Brilinta
No drug is perfect and Brilinta is not an exception. This medicine comes with different types of side effects. Make sure that you discuss with your doctor at length about these side effects. It's important to understand them because that's how you'll be able to manage them.
For example, some of the most common side effects associated with Brilinta include shortness of breath and bleeding more than usual. You might also find that your skin will bruise very easily in comparison with the time before taking Brilinta.
The reason why this happens is obvious. Brilinta reduces the production of platelets. As a result, there are fewer healing agents delivered to a scratch or injury to cover it up. These side effects usually last for a couple of days or weeks at most.
However, if they don't go away, it's important to talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Very few people develop serious side effects. Although these cases are rare, you need to know about them just in case.
For example, one of the most common serious side effects includes major bleeding. You might cough up blood or have bleeding in any part of your body that simply doesn't stop. Some people also see blood in their stool or urine.
This is an obvious sign that Brilinta has drastically reduced the number of platelets your body produces. As a result, hardly any scratch or injury gets sealed. Patients who develop such serious side effects need special treatment to prevent further health complications.
4. Bradycardia Will Go Away After Just 1 Month of Treatment
Apart from shortness of breath, those who develop side effects might also have to deal with bradycardia. This is a condition when your heart starts to beat too slowly. Bradycardia is common in patients who take Brilinta, but it usually goes away after a month or so.
The symptoms of bradycardia are well-known. Patients might start to feel dizzy, confused, and have a sensation like they're fainting. Bradycardia symptoms can differ from individual to individual.
As mentioned earlier, this common side effect should go away after a few weeks. If it doesn't or it becomes so intense that it can affect your lifestyle, make sure that you talk to your doctor. Chances are that your Brilinta dosage is too high and it needs to be reduced.
5. Brilinta Might Interfere With Other Drugs, Foods, or Alcohol
As you properly already know, the administration of Brilinta is closely regulated by governing bodies. This is a powerful drug that shouldn't be abused or taken outside of a doctor's guidelines. It can lead to serious side effects and it also interferes with different other substances.
For example, Brilinta doesn't mix well with alcohol. Those who are treated with Brilinta should keep their alcohol intake to a minimum. The combination of these two substances can significantly increase your chances of bleeding too much or have other side effects.
Brilinta can also interfere with various foods, ingredients, herbs, and spices. Some foods can potentiate the effects of Brilinta, others might reduce it. Your doctor might tell you exactly what foods you should avoid when taking Brilinta.
Finally, this antiplatelet drug can also interfere with ibuprofen. It can increase the risk of bleeding, particularly inside your stomach. You should talk to your doctor and see if you're allowed to take a combination of these two drugs or avoid ibuprofen completely
Brilinta is known to interfere with other drugs such as those administered to normalize heart rhythm or optimize cholesterol levels. These drugs might make your Brilinta pill too powerful and increase your chance of bleeding.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have opioid pain relievers such as codeine, morphine, and others. These drugs can make your Brilinta pills less effective, so your chance of developing a blood clot remains virtually the same. Make sure that you don't combine this category of drugs with Brilinta to avoid side effects and complications.
6. The Brilinta Cost Depends on Your Location, Insurance Plan, and Pharmacy
Many people are wondering how much Brilinta costs. This is a good question, especially if you have an urgent need for this medication and you need to take it for a year or more. Luckily, Brilinta is covered by many insurance plans, so you don't have to pay everything out of your pocket.
Your location can also determine the cost of Brilinta pills. For example, those who live in a large city might pay more for their treatment with Brilinta. In a large metropolitan area, almost everything is more expensive, including antiplatelet drugs.
Similarly, pharmacies price their Brilinta tablets differently. As mentioned earlier, you can have Brilinta in 2 variants - the 60mg pill or the 90mg pill. Some patients might require the stronger variant and this one is usually priced higher.
If you want to pay with cash, you might be able to secure a box of 60 Brilinta pills for several hundred dollars. You might be able to save some money if you take advantage of different coupons or discount codes offered by pharmacies.
AstraZeneca is the company that makes Brilinta. They can offer a savings card to different patients who need a steady supply of Brilinta pills. Make sure that you visit their website and see how you can save money when shopping for Brilinta pills.
7. You Might Need to Stop Taking Brilinta if You're Going to Have Surgery
Remember that Brilinta reduces the number of platelets your body makes. However, these platelets are necessary in case of surgery. Most types of surgeries, particularly stomach ones, involve a fair share of bleeding.
If your body produces fewer platelets, you might bleed more than usual and develop uncontrolled bleeding on the surgery table. That's why doctors might ask you to stop taking Brilinta before having surgery.
For example, some surgeons recommend ceasing Brilinta intake and any other platelet inhibitors for 5-7 days before surgery. This will give your body enough time to normalize platelet production and this will help you avoid uncontrolled bleeding during the surgery.
8. There Are No Withdrawal Symptoms Associated With Stopping Brilinta Treatment
Luckily for you and other patients, ceasing Brilinta treatment will not put any strain or unnecessary pressure on your body. Unlike opioid pain relievers or other drugs, Brilinta doesn't cause addiction, so you won't feel withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.
However, make sure that you don't stop taking those drugs on your own. Speak to your doctor and determine if your health will be at risk if a Brilinta treatment is discontinued. Patients with serious cardiovascular problems might need to be on a Brilinta treatment for life to ensure survival.
At the same time, keep in mind that it's also possible to overdose with Brilinta. Such occurrences are rare, but if it happens to you, make sure that you call 911 immediately. Symptoms of overdosing include vomiting, diarrhea, severe bleeding, and nausea.
9. Brilinta Pills Can Be Crushed Into a Glass of Water
The traditional method of taking Brilinta involves swallowing a pill with water once every 12 hours. This type of drug is usually administered twice a day. If you miss a dose, don't worry. Just continue your treatment as normal, you don't need to take 2 doses next time.
However, many people have trouble swallowing pills or prefer other administration methods. In this case, you can safely crush your Brilinta tablet and put the powder in a glass of water. You can take Brilinta with or without food.
Once you have drunk the glass of water, refill it, stir a little, and drink another one. This will ensure that you get the full dose of Brilinta and no powder remains at the bottom of the glass.
Remember to Always Follow Your Doctor's Advice When It Comes to Brilinta Dosage
As stated before in this article, Brilinta is not your everyday drug. You must be careful with this medicine as it can lead to severe side effects if it's taken in abnormal quantities. At the same time, it can make the difference between life and death for so many people with cardiovascular disease.
If you need a fresh supply of pills but you're worried about the Brilinta cost then make sure that you take advantage of our Brilinta coupon and save $10 on your next order. We supply this drug in both 60mg and 90mg options and we ship almost anywhere in the world.