Many to benefit from £2-a-day anti-clotting drug preventing heart attacks and strokes

The draft guidance for ticagrelor for reducing the risk of cardiovascular events in people who have had a heart attack

NICE has published draft guidance recommending anti-clotting drug ticagrelor 60 mg (Brilique, Astrazeneca) with aspirin for people who have had a heart attack.

A higher dose of ticagrelor is already recommended for 12 months after a heart attack. Now a draft guidance is recommending it be continued with these people at a lower dose for a further 3 years to reduce their risk of a further heart attack or stroke.

Heart attacks and strokes are caused by the build-up of fatty material in artery walls to form a plaque. If the plaque ruptures it can cause a blood clot which can block blood flow to heart muscles causing a heart attack. If the blood clot dislodges it can travel in the blood stream and block blood flow to the brain causing a stroke.

People who have had a heart attack are at higher risk of having a further heart attack or stroke. Current preventive treatment includes making lifestyle changes such as exercise, stopping smoking and eating a healthier diet. It also includes the use of anti-clotting drugs (antiplatelets), including aspirin, to reduce the risk of blood clots forming. .….More

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