What Is Prasugrel Used For?
Prasugrel is licensed to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other problems in adults who have recently had an angioplasty. The medication is always taken with aspirin. The two drugs work together to keep blood platelets from sticking together. In some cases, a healthcare provider may use prasugrel "off-label," such as when an angioplasty was not performed.
An Introduction to the Uses of PrasugrelPrasugrel (Effient®) is a prescription antiplatelet medication that is used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular-related deaths (due to heart attacks or strokes) in people who have had an angioplasty procedure to treat a blocked coronary artery after experiencing a heart attack or heart-related chest pain. It is used in combination with aspirin.
Angioplasty is also known as percutaneous intervention (or PCI, for short). The procedure involves threading a small tube (known as a catheter) through a large blood vessel -- often in the upper thigh -- all the way to the heart. Once the tube reaches the blocked artery in the heart, a small balloon is inflated to open up the blockage.
When used for treating a blocked coronary artery, angioplasty usually involves placing a stent (a small mesh tube) to help keep the artery open.
Angioplasty does not change the underlying risk factors that led to the blocked artery, such as high cholesterol, and the stent itself (as well as other coronary arteries) may become blocked in the future. Prasugrel (together with aspirin) is prescribed to help prevent problems, such as heart attacks or strokes, due to future clots as well as to keep clots from forming in the stent.
It is important to take prasugrel and aspirin as long as your healthcare provider thinks it is necessary. Depending on your particular situation, this may be for a longer or shorter period compared to others. Other measures to reduce your risk factors should also be taken, such as lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol.