Effient vs Brilinta

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For patients diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or those who have undergone a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), certain antiplatelet drugs such as Effient and Brilinta can help prevent clot formation, reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack or other major cardiovascular events. Both medications inhibit platelet aggregation but their mechanisms of action differ slightly. Effient is a thienopyridine class antiplatelet drug that irreversibly blocks the P2Y12 adenosine diphosphate (ADP) receptor on platelets, inhibiting platelet activation and aggregation. On the other hand, Brilinta belongs to the cyclopentyltriazolopyrimidines class and works by reversibly interacting with P2Y12 ADP receptors which also prevents blood clotting but unlike Effient, its effect is not permanent allowing for faster recovery of normal platelet function after discontinuation.

What is Effient?

Prasugrel (the generic name for Effient) was developed as an alternative to the first wave of platelet inhibitors, like clopidogrel. Prasugrel was first approved by the FDA in 2009 and it works by inhibiting platelet activation and aggregation, which can help prevent clotting. It is prescribed primarily for patients who have had a heart attack or stroke, or those with certain forms of heart disease. Compared to Ticagrelor (Brilinta), another drug in the same class that came onto market slightly later, prasugrel has fewer side effects such as breathlessness but displays a similar effectiveness in preventing further cardiovascular events. However, unlike ticagrelor which can be used more broadly across different patient populations, prasugrel is not recommended for use among patients with a previous history of stroke due to increased bleeding risks.

What conditions is Effient approved to treat?

Effient is approved for the treatment of various conditions related to blood clotting:

  • To reduce the risk of thrombotic cardiovascular events (such as heart attacks) in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) who are managed with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
  • As part of a dual antiplatelet therapy, in combination with aspirin

Brilinta, on the other hand, has approval for:

  • Reducing the rate of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction and stroke in patients with acute coronary syndrome or a history of myocardial infarction
  • For use in patients with a history of heart attack more than one year ago

How does Effient help with these illnesses?

Effient helps to manage the risk of blood clotting by hindering platelet aggregation in the bloodstream. It does this by irreversibly binding to P2Y12 receptors on platelets, thus inhibiting them from activating and clumping together into a clot. Platelets are tiny blood cells that initiate the formation of blood clots - a process which is vital in stopping bleeding but can also lead to dangerous blockages if it happens when not needed. It's believed that patients with certain cardiovascular conditions have an increased tendency for their platelets to aggregate excessively. Therefore, by blocking these receptors, Effient can limit the risks associated with excessive clot formation and help patients manage their condition and stabilize their cardiovascular health.

What is Brilinta?

Brilinta, with its active ingredient being ticagrelor, is an antiplatelet drug that works by inhibiting adenosine diphosphate (ADP) from activating platelets in the body. This ultimately prevents clots in blood vessels which could potentially lead to heart attacks or strokes. Brilinta was first approved by the FDA in 2011. Contrary to some other drugs like Effient (prasugrel), it does not need metabolic activation and works directly when administered, which can make it a more immediate option for acute cases of clotting risk.

In contrast to Effient's prodrug nature - needing conversion within the body before becoming effective - Brilinta has a direct-acting mechanism that allows it to work faster and potentially be more efficient depending on patient specifics. Its side-effect profile is also slightly different from Effient's; while both drugs may cause bleeding as a common side effect, dyspnea (difficulty breathing) might occur with Brilinta due to its influence on adenosine uptake.

What conditions is Brilinta approved to treat?

Brilinta is an antiplatelet medication that has been approved for the treatment of conditions related to blood clotting issues, such as:

  • Acute coronary syndrome (ACS)
  • Decreasing the risk of stroke and other serious cardiovascular events in patients with heart disease or a history of heart attack.

How does Brilinta help with these illnesses?

Brilinta, like Effient, is a medication used to prevent heart attack or stroke in people with certain heart conditions. It belongs to the class of drugs known as antiplatelets and works by preventing platelets in your blood from sticking together and forming a clot that can block an artery. Brilinta does this by blocking ADP receptors on the platelet surface, which prevents them from receiving signals that would normally prompt them to aggregate and form clots. This action helps keep blood flowing smoothly in your body, reducing the risk of serious cardiovascular events. Because it has a different mechanism of action compared to other similar medications (such as Effient), Brilinta may be preferred when patients do not respond well or have side effects with other antiplatelet medications.

How effective are both Effient and Brilinta?

Both prasugrel (Effient) and ticagrelor (Brilinta) have proven to be effective in preventing clot formation, particularly in patients with acute coronary syndrome or those undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. They were initially approved by the FDA within a year of each other; Effient was granted approval in 2009 and Brilinta followed suit in 2010. Both medicines block platelet aggregation through different mechanisms which can lead them being prescribed under various circumstances.

The effectiveness of Effient and Brilinta was directly studied in several clinical trials including TRITON-TIMI 38 for Effient, and PLATO for Brilinta. These trials found that both drugs had similar efficacy profiles when it came to reducing cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction or stroke occurrence among patients who previously suffered from these conditions.

A detailed review on Prasugrel established its notable ability to prevent new heart attack incidents as early as the first few days of treatment. The side effect profile is relatively manageable compared to other antiplatelet agents, however caution should be taken as there is an increased risk of bleeding complications especially among elderly populations.

On the other hand, a comprehensive review conducted on Ticagrelor suggested that this medication seems to offer more consistent platelet inhibition than clopidogrel across all patient subgroups. It has been identified as a preferred choice over Clopidogrel due to its reversible binding mechanism providing less bleeding episodes post-treatment discontinuation but data supporting its superiority over Prasugrel remains limited.

Despite their important roles as antiplatelets agents used during initial treatment phases after acute coronary syndromes or angioplasty procedures, they are often considered alongside aspirin therapy rather than standalone treatments.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Effient typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Effient typically start at 10 mg/day following a loading dose of 60 mg, and this is generally effective in preventing blood clots in most people. Children and adolescents should not use Effient unless specifically directed by their doctor. For adults, the dosage can be continued as needed under medical supervision. The maximum dosage that should not be exceeded for Brilinta is two doses of 90mg per day after a loading dose of 180mg initially. These medications are indicated to reduce the rate of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, and stroke in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or history of myocardial infarction (MI). Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new medication regimen.

At what dose is Brilinta typically prescribed?

Brilinta (ticagrelor) treatment is typically initiated with a loading dose of 180 mg, followed by a regular maintenance dose of 90 mg taken twice daily. The medication should be taken at the same time each day, ideally spaced 12 hours apart for consistent blood levels. After one year, depending on individual response and tolerance to the drug, your doctor may reduce the dosage to 60 mg twice daily. It's important not to exceed the prescribed dosage without consulting your healthcare provider as it can significantly increase your risk of bleeding complications.

What are the most common side effects for Effient?

Common side effects of Effient (prasugrel) can include:

  • Increased tendency to bleed, including gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (a rare blood disorder)
  • Rash
  • Allergic reactions
  • Changes in liver function tests
  • Decreased platelet counts

On the other hand, Brilinta (ticagrelor) may cause these common side effects:

  • Shortness of breath - if this happens, it's important to contact your doctor right away
  • Bleeding more easily than normal - nosebleeds and bruising are common examples
  • Headache or dizziness -Nausea, diarrhea or constipation
    -Skin rash or itching.

It is crucial that any signs of abnormal bleeding such as bloody urine or stools are reported promptly to a healthcare professional when using either medication.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Effient?

While Effient and Brilinta are both antiplatelet medications used to prevent blood clots, they can have different side effects. For Effient, these may include:

  • Unusual bleeding (nosebleeds, unusually heavy menstrual periods), or any bleeding that will not stop.
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Symptoms associated with a low platelet count like unusual bruising under the skin, purple spots on the skin called purpura.
  • Vision problems including blurred vision or seeing flashes of light
  • Fast heart rate with shortness of breath: rapid pulse and palpitations
  • Low sodium levels - headache; confusion; slurred speech; severe weakness or muscle cramps; vomiting; loss of coordination and balance -Severe nervous system symptoms - high fever along with rigid muscles leading to tremors

For Brilinta:

-Signs suggestive of internal bleeding like black stools and pink/bloody urine which should be reported immediately as it could lead to serious complications if not addressed promptly. -Low platelet counts might also occur in some patients taking Brilinta causing easy bruising/bleeding -Breathing difficulties similar to asthma-like symptoms such as coughing/wheezing/shortness of breath indicating a potential adverse effect known as dyspnea.

In case you experience any symptom from either medication that causes concern seek medical help right away.

What are the most common side effects for Brilinta?

Brilinta, similar to Effient, is often prescribed for patients with heart conditions. However, it does come with its own set of potential side effects:

  • Dyspnea or difficulty in breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mild headache or dizziness
  • Increased bruising or bleeding tendencies
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Chest pain that feels heavy or tight (uncommon but could be serious) It's important to note that Brilinta may cause more severe shortness of breath than Effient. If any of these symptoms persist longer than expected or become severe, seeking immediate medical attention is strongly advised.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Brilinta?

While Brilinta is typically well-tolerated, it can in rare cases cause serious side effects. Some symptoms that could signal a more severe reaction include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Severe bleeding or unusual bruising
  • Blood in your urine or stools
  • Coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Shortness of breath even with mild exertion or at rest
  • Chest pain spreading to the jaw and shoulder causing nausea and sweating
  • Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body If any of these symptoms occur after taking Brilinta, immediate medical attention should be sought.

Contraindications for Effient and Brilinta?

Effient (prasugrel) and Brilinta (ticagrelor), similar to other antiplatelet drugs, may increase the risk of severe bleeding. If you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, inform your doctor immediately.

Neither Effient nor Brilinta should be taken if you have a specific medical condition such as active pathological bleeding or a history of stroke. Always inform your physician about all medications you are taking; certain medications can interact negatively with both prasugrel and ticagrelor.

Anticoagulants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) can all increase the risk of bleeding when combined with either Effient or Brilinta. It is imperative that these medicines are not used concurrently without close supervision by a healthcare provider.

Additionally, patients who have undergone surgery recently need to consult their doctors before starting on either drug due to an elevated risk for post-surgical hemorrhage.

How much do Effient and Brilinta cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price for a package of 30 tablets of Effient (10 mg) averages around $550, which works out to about $18.30/day.
  • The cost for a pack of 60 tablets Brilinta (90 mg) is approximately $400, or roughly $13.33/day.

Thus, if you are prescribed the regular dosage, then brand-name Brilinta would be less expensive on a per-day treatment basis than Effient. It's important to remember that cost should not be your primary consideration when determining which medication is right for you; effectiveness and side effect profile should also factor heavily into this decision.

As with many drugs in this class, there isn't yet an available generic version for either Effient (prasugrel) or Brilinta (ticagrelor), meaning costs remain high compared to other classes of medications where generics have been introduced into the market. As always consult with your healthcare provider about potential cost-saving options such as patient assistance programs offered by pharmaceutical companies or switching to another antiplatelet drug that has a generic option if suitable and safe.

Popularity of Effient and Brilinta

Prasugrel, available under the brand name Effient, and Ticagrelor, marketed as Brilinta are two antiplatelet drugs commonly used to prevent clot-related events such as stroke or heart attack.

In 2020 in the United States, around 2 million people were prescribed Prasugrel (Effient). This accounted for about 9% of all prescriptions for antiplatelet medications in the country. It has been noted that over the years since its approval by FDA in 2009, there is a steady increase in its use.

Ticagrelor (Brilinta), on the other hand was prescribed to an estimated 4 million people in America during 2020. This accounts for nearly 18% of all prescriptions for antiplatelet drugs within this period. The usage trend of Ticagrelor appears to be relatively stable over recent years since it received FDA approval slightly later than Prasugrel, specifically in July of 2011.


Both Effient (prasugrel) and Brilinta (ticagrelor) are antiplatelet medications often prescribed to patients who have had certain types of heart diseases, such as angina or myocardial infarction. Both drugs have a long-standing record of use in cardiology and are supported by numerous clinical trials suggesting their effectiveness over placebo treatments. They both work by preventing platelets from clumping together to form blood clots, a common cause of heart attacks.

The choice between Effient and Brilinta is often based on the unique needs of each patient and can be affected by several factors including age, medical history, other health conditions, potential drug interactions among others. In some cases, these two drugs may even be used together with careful monitoring due to an increased risk for bleeding complications.

Effient acts via irreversibly blocking P2Y12 subtype adenosine diphosphate receptors which helps prevent clotting while Brilinta reversibly interacts with the P2Y12 receptor thus providing somewhat different mechanisms of action.

Both prasugrel and ticagrelor are available as generic medications leading to significant cost savings especially for those paying out-of-pocket. An adjustment period may also apply when starting either medication because effects might not become evident immediately after initiation.

Side effect profiles for both drugs include risks such as bleeding more easily or taking longer than usual time to stop bleeding but overall they're generally well-tolerated. However, it's crucial that patients monitor their body closely when starting treatment particularly noting any signs of unusual bleeding or bruising; immediate medical help should be sought if these occur.