Being there for loved ones with acute coronary syndrome this summer

(BPT) – Summer brings plenty of opportunities for you to spend time with family and friends. Whether you enjoy the summer vacations, barbeques, beach days or the holidays, there are various activities you want to participate in and make memories with your loved ones.

As you’re relaxing in the sun this summer, it’s important to also think about and know what to do for loved ones who have been hospitalized for a recent heart attack or severe chest pain that happened because their heart was not getting enough oxygen, also known as Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), so you can play an active role in their care.

What is ACS you may be wondering? The first step is to learn more.

ACS is an umbrella term for conditions that result from blocked blood flow and decreased oxygen supply to the heart muscle, such as heart attack and unstable angina (chest pain). In 2010, an estimated 1.1 million hospitalizations for ACS occurred in the US.

Patients with ACS may rely heavily on the support of family and friends to serve as caregivers as they learn about what they need to do after leaving the hospital, because the transition from hospital to home care can be overwhelming.

As part of your care plan, your doctor may have also discussed the importance of lifestyle changes with you such as exercise, changing your diet, managing your stress, getting regular medical checkups, or stopping smoking as well as taking certain medications as prescribed. One common prescription medicine physicians prescribe for patients with ACS is an oral antiplatelet (OAP), such as BRILINTA® (ticagrelor) 90-mg tablets.

For patients who have been prescribed BRILINTA, AstraZeneca offers the BRILINTA Patient Support Service (BPSS) tool that provides resources and support to help patients and caregivers from hospital discharge throughout the ACS treatment journey. To help loved ones, the program offers important patient education and coaching in addition to savings offers, refill reminders, personal pharmacy locater, co-pay calculator, and coverage verification and information.

To sign up yourself in BPSS, call 1-888-512-7454 or enroll online.

BRILINTA is a prescription medication for people who have had a recent heart attack or chest pain that happened because their heart was not getting enough oxygen. It is also for patients who are being treated with medicines or procedures to open blocked arteries in the heart after a recent heart attack or chest pain. BRILINTA is used with aspirin to lower the chance of having another, possibly fatal, heart attack.

BRILINTA 90-mg tablets should be taken as prescribed twice a day, plus one 81-mg aspirin tablet once per day. Together, this can help prevent platelets from sticking together and forming a clot that can block an artery. Platelets are blood cells that help with normal blood clotting.


BRILINTA is used to lower your chance of having another heart attack or dying from a heart attack or stroke, but BRILINTA (and similar drugs) can cause bleeding that can be serious and sometimes lead to death. Instances of serious bleeding, such as internal bleeding, may require blood transfusions or surgery. While you take BRILINTA, you may bruise and bleed more easily and be more likely to have nosebleeds. Bleeding will also take longer than usual to stop.

Call your doctor right away if you have any signs or symptoms of bleeding while taking BRILINTA, including: severe, uncontrollable bleeding; pink, red, or brown urine; vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds; red or black stool; or if you cough up blood or blood clots.

Do not stop taking BRILINTA without talking to the doctor who prescribes it for you. People who are treated with a stent, and stop taking BRILINTA too soon, have a higher risk of getting a blood clot in the stent, having a heart attack, or dying. If you stop BRILINTA because of bleeding, or for other reasons, your risk of a heart attack or stroke may increase. Tell all your doctors and dentists that you are taking BRILINTA. To decrease your risk of bleeding, your doctor may instruct you to stop taking BRILINTA 5 days before you have elective surgery. Your doctor should tell you when to start taking BRILINTA again, as soon as possible after surgery.

Take BRILINTA and aspirin exactly as instructed by your doctor. You should not take a dose of aspirin higher than 100 mg daily because it can affect how well BRILINTA works. Tell your doctor if you take other medicines that contain aspirin. Do not take new medicines that contain aspirin.

Do not take BRILINTA if you are bleeding now, especially from your stomach or intestine (ulcer), have a history of bleeding in the brain, have severe liver problems, or are allergic to ticagrelor or any of the ingredients in BRILINTA.

BRILINTA can cause serious side effects, including bleeding and shortness of breath. Call your doctor if you have new or unexpected shortness of breath or any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. Your doctor can decide what treatment is needed.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. BRILINTA may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how BRILINTA works.

Approved uses

BRILINTA is a prescription medicine for people who:

  • Have had a recent heart attack or severe chest pain that happened because their heart wasn’t getting enough oxygen
  • Have had a heart attack or chest pain and are being treated with medicines or procedures to open blocked arteries in the heart

BRILINTA is used with aspirin to lower your chance of having another serious problem with your heart or blood vessels such as heart attack, stroke, or blood clots in your stent if you received one. These can be fatal.

Please read the Medication Guide  and full Prescribing Information  including Boxed WARNINGS for BRILINTA.

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

Patients can find out more information about BRILINTA at or by calling 1-888-412-7454.

AstraZeneca offeres the AZ&Me™ Prescription Savings Program. To determine eligibility, patients can visit or call 1-800-AZandMe (292-6363).

3150512 Last Updated 8/15

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