Reported Reactions to Prasugrel
Bothersome or Easily Treated Side EffectsSome prasugrel side effects are merely bothersome and are not usually immediately dangerous, or are easily treated and, therefore, also are not usually dangerous. These possible reactions include but are not limited to:
- High blood pressure (hypertension) -- in up to 7.5 percent of people
- High cholesterol -- up to 7 percent
- Headache -- up to 5.5 percent
- Back pain -- up to 5 percent
- Shortness of breath -- up to 4.9 percent
- Nausea -- up to 4.6 percent
- Dizziness -- up to 4.1 percent.
It is important to understand that these "side effects" may not actually be related to prasugrel and may not be true side effects at all. In studies, prasugrel was compared to a similar medication (clopidogrel, also known as Plavix®), not to a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients). Studies that compare similar medications instead of using a placebo have trouble differentiating between true side effects and problems caused by unrelated factors, such as the disease itself.
In addition, both prasugrel and Plavix were taken with aspirin, so some of the side effects may actually have been caused by aspirin.
Other, somewhat common prasugrel side effects (reported in 2 to 4 percent of people) included:
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Chest pain unrelated to heart problems
- Arm or leg pain
- Water retention in the legs, hands, or feet
- Atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart rhythm)
- A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
- Low white blood cells.
Again, it is likely that many of these so-called side effects are not true side effects at all. For instance, atrial fibrillation is most likely due to heart damage caused by the heart attack itself or other risk factors, not by the medication.