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Ticagrelor and bradycardia: a nested case-control study


Purpose — Ticagrelor increases serum adenosine concentrations, slowing conduction and possibly leading to bradycardia. Clinical trial data have shown numerically, though not statistically significantly, higher rates of bradyarrhythmias with ticagrelor versus clopidogrel. Additionally, recent case reports have further raised concerns for this adverse effect. We explored the association between ticagrelor and hospitalization for bradycardia in a real-world setting.

Methods — We conducted a population-based, nested case-control study of Ontario residents, 66 years of age or older, discharged after a first acute coronary syndrome by linking multiple healthcare databases. Cases included patients hospitalized for bradycardia within 1 year of starting a P2Y12inhibitor. For each case, we identified 4 controls matched on age, sex, index date, and current use of a P2Y12 inhibitor. The exposure of interest was a prescription for ticagrelor within 90 days, with clopidogrel use as the reference group.

Results — From April 2012 to March 2014, we identified 140 cases and 560 controls who met the study criteria. We found no significant association between bradycardia and exposure to ticagrelor relative to clopidogrel in the previous 90 days prior to the index date (adjusted odds ratio 1.06, 95% confidence interval 0.65-2.21). Further adjustment for potential confounders also did not identify a significant association.

Conclusions — Among older patients with a first acute coronary syndrome, use of ticagrelor was not associated with a greater risk of admission for bradycardia relative to clopidogrel.



Turgeon RD, Fernandes KA, Juurlink D, Tu JV, Mamdani M. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2015; 24(12):1281-5. Epub 2015 Oct 7.

Contributing ICES Scientists