This information leaflet is designed for patients who have been prescribed ticagrelor as part of their treatment. Please take the time to read this leaflet when starting treatment.
What is ticagrelor and what does it do?
Ticagrelor is an antiplatelet medication, used to prevent blood from sticking together and therefore reducing the risk of a clot forming. Reducing this risk of clot formation lowers your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Why am I being prescribed ticagrelor?
You have been asked to start taking ticagrelor as your risk of blood clotting is raised following your heart attack.
It is used as an alternative to clopidogrel (another antiplatelet medicine) where considered appropriate by the consultant cardiologist/registrar.
How do I take my ticagrelor tablets?
The usual dose for ticagrelor is one tablet twice a day and a course will normally last for 12 months after your most recent heart attack. Some patients may continue on ticagrelor at a lower dose for a further two years if recommended by the cardiologist. Your doctor will provide advice on this.
You should take the medicine around the same time each day, for example in the morning and evening. A sun and moon symbol on the blister pack indicating the morning and evening tablet.
In addition you will be taking one aspirin 75mg tablet every day to further reduce clotting risk. The aspirin will continue as a lifelong medicine.
Are there any side effects?
Ticagrelor affects blood clotting and therefore can increase your bleeding risk. Some side effects you may experience include:
- bruising or nosebleeds
- shortness of breath
- diarrhoea or indigestion
Special warnings or precautions you need to be aware of:
Tell your doctor straightaway if you:
- Recognise bleeding that is uncontrollable, severe, unexpected or lasts a long time; also if you find blood in your urine, stools or vomit. This is because ticagrelor can increase your bleeding risk.
- Recognise signs of stroke such as face drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulty. In rare cases ticagrelor can cause bleeding into the brain or inside the skull
- Fainting more than is usual.
Before a dental procedure tell your dentist that you are taking this medication.
Are there any problems taking ticagrelor tablets with any other medications or foods/drinks?
Only take tablets prescribed for you by your doctor and check with your pharmacist before taking any new medicines. Please refer to the patient information leaflet included in the box of medicines for a more comprehensive list.
In particular, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking one of the following which increase your bleeding risk:
- Oral anticoagulants (blood thinners) –for example: warfarin, apixaban, dabigatran, rivaroxaban or edoxaban.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID painkillers) – for example: ibuprofen or naproxen.
It is okay to take ticagrelor with or without food, although taking it with/after food can reduce any indigestion and stomach upset.
Further information and advice
Further information about your tablet can be found in the patient information leaflet in the tablet box or in the container.
If you have any other questions about your medication, please contact the medicine helpline on 01223 217502.
We are smoke-free
Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.
Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998. www.cuh.nhs.uk/contact-us/accessible-information/
Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge
Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151