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Brilinta alternatives

Adding Brilinta to your list of medications is beneficial when you are dealing with cardiovascular diseases. Brilinta, also known as ticagrelor, treats acute coronary syndrome and reduces the risk of mortality from heart attack and stroke. It is an antiplatelet agent, that prevents clots and maintains regular blood flow, protecting you from these health issues.

However, two of its biggest limitations are its side effects and cost. That is why many patients look for cheaper and safer alternatives to Brilinta. Some of its popular alternatives are explained below.


Brilinta and Plavix both work on similar principles. They limit platelet aggregation by blocking the adenosine diphosphate (ADP) P2Y12 receptor on platelets. Less blood clotting due to the reduction of platelet clumping can aid in treating and preventing strokes.

Compared to Plavix, Brilintia has a quicker onset and greater efficacy. It may be more beneficial for those who have hereditary resistance to P2Y12 inhibitors. Additionally, Brilinta is easier to discontinue before surgery due to its shorter duration of action. On the contrary, Plavix may have reduced effectiveness when used with the commonly prescribed proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Prilosec (omeprazole).

Despite Brilinta’s advantages, certain negatives can make you consider Plavix a replacement. Plavix is a popular replacement because it is less likely to cause bruises. Additionally, research indicates that it is as effective as Brilinta in most cases. However its potency may be marginally compromised on senior patients. Clopidogrel, a much less expensive generic version of Plavix, is readily available, while Brilinta is not.


Due to its quick onset and great potency, Effient, a close relative of Brilinta and a popular drug in treating acute MI, is another potent ADP P2Y12 receptor inhibitor.

Effient has a smaller list of FDA-approved indications than Brilinta. However, it can offer a few benefits that make Effient a preferred alternative.

Research shows that Effient also prevents dyspnea, a typical side effect of Brilinta. However, it does not entirely eliminate the possibility of bleeding incidents, as both Effient and Brilinta include a black box warning from the FDA regarding the risk of bleeding.


Xarelto does have a preventative use approved by the FDA. As a direct oral anticoagulant, sometimes referred to as a blood thinner, Xarelto prevents blood clots by stopping the Xa enzyme. It is well known for preventing strokes in those with atrial fibrillation and treating blood clots.

Xarelto was examined in combination with aspirin and the combination was found to help prevent cardiovascular events, including strokes, in individuals with known peripheral artery disease or coronary artery disease at a significantly lower dose.

Note: When weighing your alternatives, remember that taking two antiplatelet medications or combining an anticoagulant with an antiplatelet medication can increase the risk of bleeding.


By blocking phosphodiesterase 3 and reducing platelet aggregation, Cilostazol has an antiplatelet effect. The FDA approves the medication to treat intermittent claudication, which is leg pain brought on by restricted blood flow from blockages in the peripheral arteries.

It has additionally been applied off-label for the long-term prevention of a second stroke

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