Crushing Now Allowed for Antiplatelet Agent

March 30, 2015
Ryan Marotta, Assistant Editor

The FDA today approved a new administration option for ticagrelor (Brilinta).

The FDA today approved a new administration option for AstraZeneca’s antiplatelet treatment, ticagrelor (Brilinta), allowing the drug to be crushed and administered in water by swallowing or via nasogastric tube.

Brilinta, which is indicated to reduce the rate of thrombotic cardiovascular events in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), is now the first and only P2Y12 inhibitor that is not required to be swallowed whole.

According to an AstraZeneca press release, approximately 40% of adults experience difficulties in swallowing pills, an issue that can worsen with age. Patients who experience a heart attack often find it particularly challenging to swallow whole pills, given their emergency situation.

“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, AstraZeneca Vice President of US Medical Affairs, in a press release. “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.”

The most common adverse events associated with the use of Brilinta include total major bleeding.