AstraZeneca's new blood-thinning drug Brilinta has been given a class 1 recommendation as a treatment option under European medical guidelines, even though it has yet to be approved for sale.

New European Society of Cardiology guidelines include the medicine, which is also known as ticagrelor, as an option for patients undergoing procedures to open clogged arteries.

The society published the updated document at its annual meeting in Stockholm on Sunday, adding that its green light was dependent on Brilinta's final approval and availability.

Brilinta is being assessed by regulators in Europe, following positive clinical trial results a year ago, which found it was superior to Plavix, the standard treatment made by Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb's.

It is expected to win a green light to go on sale in the United States as early as next month, after being endorsed by a U.S. advisory panel last month.