Here’s What May Have Caused Your Heart Attack


Plaque begins to build up

Plaque can build up in your artery over time

Plaque results from fat, cholesterol, and other substances found in your blood.


Platelets collect to repair the damage where the plaque burst

The surface of the plaque broke apart and your platelets reacted and formed a clot

Your platelets reacted as if you were injured and formed a blood clot.


Blood cannot get past the clot to flow to the heart

The clot got in the way of blood flow

The blood clot decreased or blocked the blood flow to your heart. This may have caused your heart attack.


For illustrative purposes only.


What Was Done For You In The Hospital To Treat Your Heart Attack?

While you were in the hospital, your doctors and nurses were focused on getting blood to flow to your heart again. This was probably done in one (or more) of these ways:

Stent Placement

  • You may have had a procedure called an angioplasty
  • An angioplasty helps open a narrow or blocked artery
  • Sometimes a stent is placed to keep your artery open

Open Heart Surgery

  • You may have had a surgery called coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
  • CABG takes a healthy artery or vein from your body
  • The healthy artery goes around the blocked portion of the artery
  • This gives blood a new route to follow to your heart

Medicines To Get Blood Flowing

  • Medicines may have been given to open blocked arteries to your heart

Find Out Your Risk of Having Another Heart Attack


Is There a Chance You Could Have Another Heart Attack?

Yes, there is. In the hospital, blood flow was restored in the area where your heart attack happened. But it’s possible that platelets could gather and stick together to form another clot.

Talk to your cardiologist to find out what your plan should be to reduce your risk.

Your heart has many arteries, and another clot can form in any one of them.

Risk Factors

Other things that can affect your chance of another heart attack are your age, your medical history, other health conditions you may have, and the severity of your heart attack.

There’s More You Can Do

Today, you can start taking healthy steps to reduce your chance of another heart attack! Your doctor can help you understand the healthy changes you can make.


BRILINTA is used to lower your chance of having another heart attack or dying from a heart attack or stroke, but BRILINTA (and similar drugs) can cause bleeding that can be serious and sometimes lead to death. Instances of serious bleeding, such as internal bleeding, may require blood transfusions or surgery. While you take BRILINTA, you may bruise and bleed more easily and be more likely to have nosebleeds. Bleeding will also take longer than usual to stop.

Call your doctor right away if you have any signs or symptoms of bleeding while taking BRILINTA, including: severe, uncontrollable bleeding; pink, red, or brown urine; vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds; red or black stool; or if you cough up blood or blood clots.

Do not stop taking BRILINTA without talking to the doctor who prescribes it for you. People who are treated with a stent, and stop taking BRILINTA too soon, have a higher risk of getting a blood clot in the stent, having a heart attack, or dying. If you stop BRILINTA because of bleeding, or for other reasons, your risk of a heart attack or stroke may increase. Tell all your doctors and dentists that you are taking BRILINTA. To decrease your risk of bleeding, your doctor may instruct you to stop taking BRILINTA 5 days before you have surgery. Your doctor should tell you when to start taking BRILINTA again, as soon as possible after surgery.

Take BRILINTA and aspirin exactly as instructed by your doctor. You should not take a dose of aspirin higher than 100 mg daily because it can affect how well BRILINTA works. Tell your doctor if you take other medicines that contain aspirin. Do not take new medicines that contain aspirin.

Do not take BRILINTA if you have a history of bleeding in the brain, are bleeding now, or are allergic to ticagrelor or any of the ingredients in BRILINTA.

Slow heart rhythm has been reported with BRILINTA.

BRILINTA can cause serious side effects, including bleeding and shortness of breath. Call your doctor if you have new or unexpected shortness of breath or any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. Your doctor can decide what treatment is needed.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. BRILINTA may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how BRILINTA works.

Approved Use

BRILINTA is a prescription medicine for people who have had a heart attack or severe chest pain that happened because their heart wasn’t getting enough oxygen.

BRILINTA is used with aspirin to lower your chance of having another serious problem with your heart or blood vessels such as heart attack, stroke, or blood clots in your stent if you received one. These can be fatal.

Please read Medication Guide and Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNINGS for BRILINTA.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.