How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Tirofiban belongs to the family of medications known as platelet aggregation inhibitors. Platelets are a component of the blood that is very important to blood clotting. Heart attacks are caused by blood clots that block the required flow of blood to the heart.
Tirofiban works by preventing platelets from forming blood clots. It is used in combination with heparin (a medication also used to prevent blood clots) and acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) to prevent additional heart attacks or unstable angina (chest pain that gets worse with time and puts a person at risk for heart attack) for people who have recently experienced such events.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Solution for Infusion
Each mL of solution for infusion (premixed, iso-osmotic solution) contains tirofiban free base 50 µg (as tirofiban HCl). Nonmedicinal ingredients: citric acid anhydrous, sodium chloride, and sodium citrate dihydrate. The pH ranges from 5.5 to 6.5 and may have been adjusted with hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide.
How should I use this medication?
Tirofiban is used in a hospital setting and is given by injection. A needle is inserted into a vein in the arm and the medication is injected slowly over a period of time. The medication is usually administered for a period of at least 48 hours for people who have had a heart attack or who have unstable angina. The dose of medication required is based on a person's condition and body weight.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Store this medication at room temperature, do not let it freeze, and protect it from light. Keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use tirofiban if you:
- are allergic to tirofiban or any ingredients of the medication
- are using any other injectable medications of the same type as tirofiban
- have a history, symptoms, or signs of aortic dissection
- have active internal bleeding or a history of bleeding diathesis (any factors, such as medical conditions or medications, which increase bleeding risk)
- have acute pericarditis (inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart)
- have angina brought on by obvious aggravating factors (e.g., abnormal heart rhythms, severe anemia, overactive thyroid gland, or low blood pressure)
- have any blood clotting disorder or problem with platelets (including low platelet counts)
- have developed thrombocytopenia (low level of platelets) following previous use of tirofiban or similar medications
- have liver cirrhosis or significant liver disease
- have recently undergone an epidural procedure
- have severe high blood pressure that is not controlled
- have had a stroke within 30 days before hospitalization or have previously had a hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke
- have had any major surgical procedure or severe physical trauma within the previous 6 weeks
- have had intracranial (in the brain) bleeding or tumour, artery or vein malformation, or an aneurysm
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- decrease in cell platelets (which may be monitored by your doctor)
- pain, redness, or swelling at the site of the injection
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- low platelet count on blood tests
- oozing or bleeding from any wounds
- signs of bleeding (such as nosebleeds, blood in the urine or stools, bleeding gums coughing or vomiting blood, easy bruising)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a severe allergic reaction (such as skin rash or hives; trouble breathing; swelling of the lips, mouth, or throat)
- signs of bleeding in the brain (stroke; e.g., sudden or severe headache; sudden loss of coordination; vision changes; sudden slurring of speech; or unexplained weakness, numbness, or pain in arm or leg)
- signs of bleeding in the stomach (e.g., bloody, black, or tarry stools, spitting up of blood, vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Bleeding: The most serious risk associated with tirofiban is bleeding in any tissue or organ. If you have a history of recent bleeding in any tissue or organ within the last year (e.g., stomach, eyes, brain), discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, and how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication. People with an increased risk of bleeding should be closely monitored by their doctor while taking this medication.
Kidney function: Kidney disease or reduced kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, and how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication. If you have an increased risk of bleeding, you should be closely monitored by your doctor while taking this medication.
Platelets: If you have low platelet counts, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, and how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication. If you have an increased risk of bleeding, you should be closely monitored by your doctor while taking this medication.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if tirofiban passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
Seniors: The side effects of this medication may be more noticeable in seniors. People who are over 65 years old should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect them and whether any special monitoring is needed.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between tirofiban and any of the following:
- acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)
- anti-platelets (e.g., clopidogrel, prasugrel, ticagrelor, ticlopidine)
- herbal products that affect blood clotting (e.g., cat's claw, chamomile, fenugreek, evening primrose, feverfew, garlic, ginger, ginseng, turmeric)
- low molecular weight heparins (e.g., dalteparin, enoxaparin, tinzaparin)
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs; e.g., diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)
- omega-3-fatty acids
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)
- serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs; desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, venlafaxine)
- thrombolytic medications (e.g., urokinase, alteplase, streptokinase)
- vitamin E
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
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