Brilinta and Bleeding

Patients who use the blood-thinning medication Brilinta may be at a heightened risk for serious, uncontrollable bleeding. Such complications are dangerous and potentially fatal, as there is currently no approved antidote to reverse Brilinta bleeding side effects.

Did You Experience Internal Bleeding While Using Brilinta? Contact an Attorney Today.

Brilinta patients who experienced dangerous episodes of internal bleeding while using Brilinta may be entitled to take legal action against AstraZeneca. If you would like to discuss your case with a qualified attorney, please call Bernstein Liebhard LLP at (888) 994-5118.

Brilinta Warning for Internal Bleeding

Brilinta was approved for sale in the U.S. in 2011. The drug is used to prevent heart attacks and strokes in patients who have had a previous heart attack or angina, or in those who have undergone certain heart surgeries.

According to a warning included on the Brilinta label, patients treated with the medication may experience serious internal bleeding requiring transfusion or surgery, and which may lead to death. Brilinta patients may bruise and bleed more easily and be more likely to have nosebleeds. Bleeding will also take longer than usual to stop.

Brilinta should not be taken by patients who have a history of bleeding in the brain, or who are bleeding now. Because Brilinta may cause stomach bleeding, patients should limit their use of alcoholic beverages. Consumption of alcohol may increase the risk of a stomach bleed.

There is currently no antidote to reverse bleeding that can occur with Brilinta. Patients using this medication should contact their doctor immediately if they experience:

  • Severe, uncontrollable bleeding
  • Pink, red, or brown urine
  • Vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds
  • Red or black stool
  • Coughing up blood or blood clots

AstraZeneca Developing Drug to Reverse Brilinta Bleeding

In 2014, AstraZeneca announced that it was developing an antibody treatment, MEDI2452, to reverse the blood-thinning effect of Brilinta. Such a reversal agent would be used in patients who experience a sudden bleeding event, or who must undergo emergency surgery. As it stands now, doctors must wait for the effects of Brilinta to wear off before performing surgery. Read More

Do the Benefits of Brilinta Outweigh It Risks?

In 2015, AstraZeneca released the results of the PEGASUS-TIMI 54 trial, which compared the efficacy of Brilinta to Plavix, its main competitor. The findings, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggested that patients treated with Brilinta were less likely to die from heart problems, a repeat heart attack, or a stroke. However, they were two times more likely to experience major bleeding event than those in the placebo group.

An editorial which accompanied the publication of the PEGASUS-TIMI 54 trial voiced concerns that AstraZeneca faced the risk of “diminishing returns” in the clinical advantages of Brilinta. The editorial further projected that “on the basis of the 60-mg ticagrelor dose, treating 10,000 patients for 1 year would prevent approximately 42 primary end-point events and produce approximately 31 TIMI major bleeding events—close to an even proposition.”

Brilinta Legal Consultations

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is offering free legal reviews to those who may have been harmed by Brilinta. If you or a loved one took Brilinta and experienced bleeding that could not be controlled, please call (888) 994-5118 to discuss you case with one of our attorneys.

  1. AstraZeneca (2015) “Brilinta Prescribing Information”
  2. The Telegraph (2015) “AstraZeneca to test whether it can undo effects of its own heart drug”
  3. NEJM (2015) Long-Term Use of Ticagrelor in Patients with Prior Myocardial Infarction
  4. NEJM (2015) Balancing the Risks and Benefits of Dual Platelet Inhibition
Last Modified: March 1, 2016

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