Warnings & Precautions
There are a variety of warnings and precautions associated with Brilinta. Please be sure to discuss your medical history and all current medications and conditions before beginning treatment with this medication.
Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), is typically used alongside Brilinta for treatment. The amount of aspirin required for treatment may vary amongst individuals, and patients should be sure to follow their prescribing physician’s instructions regarding dosing and administration. However, the daily dose of aspirin ingested should not exceed a maximum of 150 mg.
Bleeding is the most common long-term side effect of using Brilinta, and individuals that are already at risk of bleeding before using Brilinta should discuss this with their physician before beginning treatment with this medication. Any patients that experience easy bruising, tarry and black stools, blood in their urine, or reduced ability to stop bleeding after a cut has occurred should report this to their doctor as soon as possible.
One of the possible side effects of using Brilinta is shortness of breath. Typically, most patients’ bodies adjust to Brilinta over time, and this side effect tends to improve. However, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma should be sure to inform their physician of these conditions before beginning treatment with Brilinta, as they may impact the safety of using the medication. Breathing-related side effects are often mild or moderate in nature, but having preexisting conditions that affect the patient’s ability to breathe may be negatively impacted by the use of Brilinta.
Changes in Heart Rhythm
Brilinta is capable of causing changes in heart rhythm in some patients. Patients with any of the following factors should discuss these with their physician before beginning treatment with Brilinta: experiencing fainting as a result of a slow heart rate, 2nd-degree heart block, 3rd-degree heart block, sick sinus syndrome, any other abnormal heart rhythm-related conditions, or current use of any medications to slow down your heart rate (e.g., metoprolol, verapamil, diltiazem, atenolol). The presence of any of these conditions or the use of any of the mentioned medications may result in changes being made to the dosage of Brilinta to ensure that it is able to be used both safely and effectively.
Gout and High Uric Acid Levels
Brilinta is associated with an increased amount of uric acid building up within patients’ blood. Patients with a medical history of gout or high uric acid levels should be sure to inform their physician of such conditions before beginning treatment with Brilinta, as these may both impact the efficacy of the medication and may require monitoring during treatment. Any individuals using Brilinta that develop urination difficulties or have their joints become warm, swollen, or painful should report this to their prescribing physician as soon as possible.
Brilinta is affected by the consumption of grapefruit juice. Grapefruit juice causes Brilinta to not be properly removed from the patient’s body, and this can result in a build-up of too much Brilinta within the individual, further resulting in more numerous or more significant side effects. Patients using Brilinta should avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit while using this medication.
Kidney and Liver Function
Patients that are currently receiving dialysis may require special monitoring as dialysis may affect Brilinta, and Brilinta may impact the condition for which the patient is receiving dialysis. Impaired kidney function may also alter the efficacy and required dosage of Brilinta that is necessary for treatment.
As Brilinta is processed in the liver, impaired liver function or liver disease may result in excess amounts of Brilinta building up within the body and resulting in side effects that may be more noticeable or severe. If you currently have impaired liver function or have a history of liver disease, please discuss how this may affect your treatment with Brilinta. Individuals with reduced liver function that is moderate to severe should not be prescribed Brilinta.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
It has not been determined whether Brilinta is safe for use during pregnancy or if it is passed through breast milk. Patients using Brilinta are advised to avoid becoming pregnant while being treated with this medication. If a patient becomes pregnant while using Brilinta, they should inform their prescribing physician immediately. Additionally, due to the lack of studies regarding breastfeeding and the use of Brilinta, patients should discuss the potential risks of their medication passing through breast milk and affecting the baby receiving this milk.
Due to the bleeding risks associated with Brilinta, patients with any type of upcoming surgical procedure will need to stop using this medication beforehand. Please speak to your prescribing physician regarding when and how to stop using Brilinta before your scheduled surgery.
When Stopping This Medication
Patients that stop using Brilinta will once again have an increased risk of experiencing a heart attack and stroke. Some individuals may need to stop using Brilinta to manage certain side effects, but this should only be done under the guidance of their physician, and they should return to using the medication once the adverse side effects have been resolved.
Speak to your doctor about any medications or herbal supplements you are currently taking before beginning treatment with Brilinta. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor or a trusted pharmacist.
Drugs That Are Known to Interact with Brilinta
The following medications are known to interact with Brilinta: