BRILINTA receives US FDA approval for new administration option

BRILINTA® (ticagrelor) now the only P2Y12 inhibitor with an FDA approved crushing option for administration

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new administration option for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients who are unable to swallow BRILINTA 90 mg tablets whole. Unlike other P2Y12 inhibitors, BRILINTA has FDA approval to be crushed and administered in water by swallowing or via nasogastric tube.

“We know that some patients who experience a heart attack are unable to swallow medications whole, yet it is important for these patients to receive and continue their oral antiplatelet therapy,” said Steven Zelenkofske, DO, Vice President, US Medical Affairs, Cardiovascular, AstraZeneca. “This label update, like the recent announcement of the PEGASUS TIMI-54 results, is an example of our ongoing commitment to addressing important unmet patient needs through advancing our understanding of BRILINTA.”

In the general population, survey data show that 40% of adults experience problems swallowing pills. This difficulty may increase with age. Moreover, some patients who experience a heart attack have difficulty swallowing medications in the emergency setting. This new administration option for BRILINTA gives healthcare professionals flexibility in treating their ACS patients.

BRILINTA is indicated to reduce the rate of thrombotic cardiovascular (CV) events in patients with ACS (unstable angina [UA], non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction [NSTEMI], or ST-elevation myocardial infarction [STEMI]). BRILINTA has been shown to reduce the rate of a combined end point of CV death, myocardial infarction (MI), or stroke compared to clopidogrel. The difference between treatments was driven by CV death and MI with no difference in stroke. In patients treated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), it also reduces the rate of stent thrombosis.

BRILINTA has been studied in ACS in combination with aspirin. Maintenance doses of aspirin > 100 mg decreased the effectiveness of BRILINTA. Avoid maintenance doses of aspirin > 100 mg daily.




  • BRILINTA, like other antiplatelet agents, can cause significant, sometimes fatal, bleeding
  • Do not use BRILINTA in patients with active pathological bleeding or a history of intracranial hemorrhage
  • Do not start BRILINTA in patients planned to undergo urgent coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). When possible, discontinue BRILINTA at least 5 days prior to any surgery
  • Suspect bleeding in any patient who is hypotensive and has recently undergone coronary angiography, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), CABG, or other surgical procedures in the setting of BRILINTA
  • If possible, manage bleeding without discontinuing BRILINTA. Stopping BRILINTA increases the risk of subsequent cardiovascular events


  • Maintenance doses of aspirin above 100 mg reduce the effectiveness of BRILINTA and should be avoided. After any initial dose, use with aspirin 75 mg - 100 mg per day


  • BRILINTA is contraindicated in patients with a history of intracranial hemorrhage and active pathological bleeding such as peptic ulcer or intracranial hemorrhage. BRILINTA is contraindicated in patients with severe hepatic impairment because of a probable increase in exposure; it has not been studied in these patients. Severe hepatic impairment increases the risk of bleeding because of reduced synthesis of coagulation proteins. BRILINTA is also contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity (e.g., angioedema) to ticagrelor or any component of the product


  • Moderate Hepatic Impairment: Consider the risks and benefits of treatment, noting the probable increase in exposure to ticagrelor
  • Premature discontinuation increases the risk of MI, stent thrombosis, and death
  • Dyspnea was reported in 14% of patients treated with BRILINTA and in 8% of patients taking clopidogrel. Dyspnea resulting from BRILINTA is self-limiting. Rule out other causes
  • BRILINTA is metabolized by CYP3A4/5. Avoid use with strong CYP3A inhibitors and potent CYP3A inducers. Avoid simvastatin and lovastatin doses >40 mg
  • Monitor digoxin levels with initiation of, or any change in, BRILINTA therapy


  • The most commonly observed adverse reactions associated with the use of BRILINTA vs clopidogrel were Total Major Bleeding (11.6% vs 11.2%) and dyspnea (14% vs 8%)
  • In clinical studies, BRILINTA has been shown to increase the occurrence of Holter-detected bradyarrhythmias. PLATO excluded patients at increased risk of bradycardic events. Consider the risks and benefits of treatment

Please read full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNINGS, and Medication Guide.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

About BRILINTA® (ticagrelor) tablets

BRILINTA is an oral antiplatelet treatment for ACS. BRILINTA is a direct-acting P2Y12 receptor antagonist in a chemical class called cyclopentyltriazolopyrimidines (CPTPs). BRILINTA works by inhibiting platelet activation and has been shown to reduce the rate of thrombotic cardiovascular (CV) events, such as a heart attack or CV death, in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). BRILINTA is available in 90-mg tablets to be administered with a single 180-mg oral loading dose (two 90-mg tablets) followed by a twice daily, 90-mg maintenance dose. Following an initial loading dose of aspirin, BRILINTA should be used with a maintenance dose of 75 mg - 100 mg aspirin once daily, 81-mg aspirin dose in the US.

BRILINTA is a registered trademark of the AstraZeneca group of companies.

About Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS)

ACS is an umbrella term for conditions that result from insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle. These conditions include unstable angina (UA), non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), and ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The conditions are defined by ECG changes and heart muscle enzyme leakage. Non–ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) includes unstable angina (UA) and non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI); the term is usually used before heart muscle enzymes have been analyzed. The goal of treating ACS is to restore, improve, and/or stabilize blood flow to the heart muscle and to reduce the risk of recurrent CV events. Depending on the severity of the condition and the resources available, the patient will either be managed with medicines or undergo more invasive procedures. These procedures may include using catheters, balloons, and/or stents that treat the narrowed arteries of the heart called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and/or a type of surgery that improves blood flow to the heart called coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit


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