NICE recommends ticagrelor combined with low-dose aspirin for up to a year as a possible treatment for some people with acute coronary syndromes (see below).

Who can have ticagrelor?

You should be able to have ticagrelor if you:

  • have a condition called ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (major heart attack) that your cardiologist intends to treat with a procedure to widen your narrowed artery (called primary percutaneous coronary intervention)
  • a condition called non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (mild heart attack) or
  • have been admitted to hospital with unstable angina.

If you are treated with ticagrelor because you have unstable angina, this diagnosis should be confirmed, ideally by a cardiologist, before you are offered more treatment with ticagrelor.

Why has NICE said this?

NICE looks at how well treatments work, and also at how well they work in relation to how much they cost the NHS.

NICE recommended ticagrelor because it works better than other treatments available on the NHS. Although it also costs more than other treatments, this was justified by the benefits it provided.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guidance represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, health professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients. The application of the recommendations in this guidance is at the discretion of health professionals and their individual patients and do not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to provide the funding required to enable the guidance to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients wish to use it, in accordance with the NHS Constitution. They should do so in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities.

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