Frequently asked questions for Prasugrel
Q. Is Prasugrel a blood thinner?Yes, Prasugrel is a type of blood thinner. It works by preventing platelets (type of blood cells) from sticking together and forming clots. This action of Prasugrel helps in preventing conditions like heart attack or stroke in people with heart disease, who have recently suffered a heart attack or severe heart-related chest pain (unstable angina).
Q. Can you drink alcohol while taking Prasugrel?It is not advised to take alcohol while taking Prasugrel, as alcohol may increase your chance of stomach bleeding. As a result, you may vomit blood (which may be bright red blood or black/dark brown like coffee grounds) or you may have bloody or black tarry stools. Discuss with your doctor if you are not sure.
Q. Can you take aspirin with Prasugrel?Prasugrel is usually prescribed along with aspirin in to prevent serious or life-threatening problems associated with heart or blood vessels (like heart attack, stroke, clot formation in a stent). This combination of medicine is given to patients who have recently had a heart attack and underwent angioplasty (stent placement in blocked blood vessels of the heart)had a heart attack, stroke, or had angioplasty to remove the blockage in arteries which supply the heart. Please consult your doctor before taking any medicine if you are taking Prasugrel and follow the doctor’s instructions carefully to get maximum benefit.
Q. Do I need to stop Prasugrel before surgery?Your doctor will decide whether you need to stop taking Prasugrel before any surgery or treatment or not. Usually, if a surgery or treatment is planned beforehand, the doctor may stop Prasugrel a few days (usually 7 days) before the surgery or treatment owing to the increased risk of bleeding during the procedure. You should not stop taking Prasugrel on your own without discussing it with your doctor.
Q. How long do I need to take Prasugrel after stent insertion?The exact duration of taking Prasugrel will be decided by your doctor after considering various factors like the illness you are being treated for, type of stent inserted, any episodes of bleeding experienced by you during treatment etc. Usually, it is prescribed for a minimum duration of 1 year. However, follow your doctor's advice precisely to get maximum benefit of Prasugrel. Discuss with your doctor before stopping the medication, as sudden discontinuation may increase the chances of clot formation in the stent, heart attack, and can even lead to death.
Q. What is the most important information I need to know about Prasugrel?Prasugrel may cause serious or life-threatening bleeding. Moreover, you may bruise easily and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop even if you have a minor injury such as a small cut while shaving. Get emergency medical help if you notice excessive or prolonged bleeding. You should inform your doctor if you notice black tarry stools or if there is blood in the urine. Be vigilant on any signs of stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness (one side or both sides of the body), difficulty walking, mental confusion, slurred speech, dizziness and any unexplained headache. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop any such signs of stroke as stroke is an uncommon side effect of Prasugrel and needs urgent medical attention as it can otherwise be fatal.
Q. What if I forget to take a dose of Prasugrel?If you have missed a dose of Prasugrel, take it as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take it in the regular schedule instead of taking the missed dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed one as this may increase the chances of developing side effects.
Q. What should I avoid while taking Prasugrel?Avoid activities that may increase your chances of bleeding. Be extra careful while shaving or brushing your teeth to prevent bleeding. You should avoid taking painkillers, but if you need to take one like ibuprofen for joint pain, headache, backache etc, then consult your doctor first. This is because taking pain killers with Prasugrel may increase your chances of developing a stomach ulcer and bleeding. Refrain from taking excessive alcohol with Prasugrel as it can irritate your stomach and lead to a stomach ulcer as well.
Q. Who should not take Prasugrel?Prasugrel is not recommended for people who are allergic to it or any of its ingredients. Do not take Prasugrel if you have or ever had severe liver disease, stomach ulcers, bleeding in the brain (stroke or a transient ischemic attack, also known as TIA), or if you have a bleeding disorder known as hemophilia (disease in which blood does not clot normally). Additionally, avoid taking Prasugrel if you are trying to get pregnant, already pregnant, or breastfeeding.