1. Why Antiplatelets are Prescribed

    If you have had a stent placed in one of your coronary arteries or experienced a CVA or mini-stroke it is likely that your health care provider has prescribed an anti-platelet medication to help prevent recurrence of obstruction in the arteries supplying blood to your heart or brain. These medications work by blocking the action of platelets, a component of the blood that is involved in the formation of blood clots.

  2. How Antiaggregant Pills Work?

    There are multiple types of anti-platelet medications that work in different ways to block the action of platelets and prevent the formation of blood clots. The most common and well known anti-platelet medication is aspirin that inhibits platelet aggregation or clumping. The P2Y12 inhibitors include clopidogrel, ticagrelor, and prasugrel. They work by reducing platelet activation and clumping.

  3. Potential Side-Effects

    Most people who are prescribed these medications are able to enjoy their beneficial effects without experiencing bothersome side effects. If you are taking an antiplatelet medication you may experience bleeding, high blood pressure, headache, shortness of breath, and nausea. Ensure that you discuss any potential side effects with your healthcare provider immediately who may need to choose an alternative medicine to treat your condition.

    There is a significant risk of bleeding associated with antiaggregant medications.

  4. Special Considerations

    There is a significant risk of bleeding associated with antiplatelets. This risk is much less prevalent with aspirin, but is increased in clopidogrel, ticagrelor, and prasugrel. You must inform your health care provider that you are taking these medications if you require any type of surgical procedure since anti-platelet medications may need to be stopped as much as a week prior to your procedure to reduce risk of excessive bleeding.

  5. The Importance of Compliance
    Seeing your healthcare provider on a routine basis is not enough if you do not follow the instructions that have been given once a health and wellness concern is identified. One of the most important steps that you can take to prevent worsening of your health is to take any medications that are prescribed. Most people will require lifetime treatment with medications for certain chronic diseases, but some will be able to stop taking certain medicines if strict compliance with diet and lifestyle changes can be maintained.