Take one tablet daily.
The most common unwanted effect is an increased risk of bleeding. It is important that you let your doctor know if you notice any unusual or unexpected bleeding or bruising.
If you need to take any painkillers, check with your doctor or pharmacist that they are suitable for you. Some painkillers interact with prasugrel.
About prasugrel tablets
|Type of medicine||Antiplatelet medicine|
|Used for||To prevent clots forming in blood vessels after stent insertion|
In your blood there are 'sticky' cells called platelets. When you cut yourself, the platelets stick to each other (clot) to seal the wound. Sometimes platelets stick to each other inside an artery - this is called a thrombus. If a thrombus forms in a blood vessel around your heart, this reduces the flow of blood to your heart. The term acute coronary syndrome (ACS) covers a range of disorders that are caused by this underlying problem.
For some people with ACS, the most appropriate treatment is to have a stent inserted into the blocked or narrowed artery to restore the flow of blood. A stent is like a wire mesh tube which gives support to the blood vessel. After a stent has been inserted, antiplatelet medicines are given routinely. These medicines reduce the stickiness of platelets, and this helps prevent the platelets from sticking to the inside of the artery and going on to form a further clot (thrombus). Prasugrel is one of these antiplatelet medicines. Your doctor will also prescribe aspirin for you to take alongside prasugrel. Aspirin is another antiplatelet medicine.
Before taking prasugrel tablets
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking prasugrel tablets it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you have ever had a stroke, or a transient ischaemic attack (sometimes called a TIA or 'mini-stroke').
- If you have a condition which causes bleeding, such as a recent wound or a stomach ulcer.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine, particularly if you have had a bad reaction to any other antiplatelet medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take prasugrel tablets
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about prasugrel and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Take the tablets exactly as your doctor tells you to. On the first day of treatment, you will be given six tablets (60 mg) to take so that you get sufficient medicine into your bloodstream to begin with. After this, you will be prescribed one tablet to take each day. For most people, the tablets will contain 10 mg prasugrel.
- Swallow the tablets with a drink of water - do not crush or chew the tablets as you swallow. You can take prasugrel tablets before or after meals.
- Try to take your doses around the same time of day, each day. This will help you to remember to take them.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep all your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take with prasugrel tablets. Some medicines, called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may increase the risk of bleeding, so check with a pharmacist before you buy any painkillers. Also, do not take any preparations containing aspirin that have not been prescribed for you by your doctor. Several medicines for pain relief and cold relief that can be bought at retail outlets contain aspirin, so check the label carefully before you buy.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking prasugrel. This is because any bleeding may take longer than normal to stop.
Can prasugrel tablets cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common prasugrel side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|An increased risk of bleeding. Stopping any bleeding may take longer than normal||Let your doctor know if you notice any unusual or unexpected bleeding or bruising|
|Skin rash||Let your doctor know about this, especially if it is severe or troublesome|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store prasugrel tablets
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Efient® 5 mg & 10 mg film-coated tablets; Eli Lilly and Company Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated May 2013.
- British National Formulary; 65th Edition (Mar 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Adrian Bonsall