Brilinta – The Poison Pill?

Every so often new drugs come to market amid complaints of flawed studies that leave patients wondering why they’ve been prescribed one drug over another.

If you’ve had a heart attack, you’ve undoubtedly been introduced to a medicine cabinet full of new friends with names like Plavix, Brilinta, Aspirin, Lisinopril, Lipitor, and Metoprolol. Drugs like Plavix and Brilinta are preventives for forming dangerous blood clots which could lead to another heart attack, stroke or even death. The leftovers, known as Lisinopril, Metoprolol, Aspirin, and Lipitor control blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels. Low dose Aspirin is also used in conjunction with Brilinta and Plavix to further reduce the chance of forming blood clots and preventing restenosis (re-clogging of newly implanted stents).

Turn on your TV and you’ll see Bob Harper telling the world that his “heart deserves Brilinta”. What Bob isn’t telling you is that the drug you’ve been prescribed comes with known fatal side effects such as bleeding to death. If the possibility of bleeding to death doesn’t put you off then the myriad of other side effects just might. Side effects of Brilinta include shortness of breath, chest pain, purple or red dots under the skin, nosebleeds, headaches, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea and the list goes on and on.

As a former user of Brilinta, I can tell you that I suffered for nearly a year on this medication. I wasn’t given a choice to use this drug as it was prescribed and I was told I had to take it as there were no other alternatives for me.

The first issue was allowing a cardiologist to insert drug-eluting stents into my heart thus setting the wheels in motion as to the list of medications I would be required to consume for years to come. Brilinta would cost me $400.00 per month and I was told I would take it for nearly three years. Considering all of my health and life insurance is nearly $1500.00 per month, the extra $400.00 was a hardship.

Don’t pay attention to the so-called offer from Astra Zeneca to lower your monthly cost to $5.00 as if that offer does not apply to you, there will be zero savings.

Do a search online and you’ll a variety of lawsuits filed against the maker of Brilinta (Astra Zeneca). The one lawsuit that stands out is due to the skewing of results, which acted to steer physicians and their patients away from using Plavix to using Brilinta.

Create a nifty television commercial with Bob Harper hawking the drug and you’ve got another billion-dollar Big Pharma winner on your hands.

As for side effects, I had them all including a breathing problem which eventually had me wondering what other people were experiencing. I turned to the net and found that I was in the same company as many other Brilinta patients who all had the same complaints. Brilinta was described by some as pure poison. In the end, the only way to stop Brilinta was to change physicians. I fired my cardiologist as one would think he created Brilinta and profited in some way from prescribing to each and every patient that came through his door.

The new cardiologist took me off Brilinta and placed me on Plavix. Plavix costs $7.50 for a ninety-day supply vs. $1200.00 for Brilinta. The cost to my health is another matter. I lived for 10 months on a drug that I felt was eating me alive from the inside out. I could not catch my breath, climb stairs and slept most of the ten months away. If I wasn’t in bed, I was in the bathroom and depression had set in to the point of creating suicidal thoughts and even opting for a DNR if I had another heart attack. Sometimes the cure is worse than the condition.

Nearly two weeks later, I can breathe again. I don’t sleep at odd hours during the day, my digestion has improved and my depression has subsided. I feel as though I wasted ten months of my life being a guinea pig for Astra Zeneca.

As for Bob Harper, Bob, my heart does deserve the best but, not at the cost of my overall health and well being.