November 22, 2006

Plavix

Filed under: Uncategorized — drwatson @ 10:46 am

Plavix is taken daily to help reduce your risk of having a future heart attack or stroke. It is recommended for people who have suffered from a recent heart attack or recent stroke, or who have been diagnosed with peripheral artery disease, or P.A.D. – poor circulation in the legs that may cause pain during exercise, such as walking.

How does this medication work?

Plavix is proven to help keep platelets from sticking together and forming clots. This helps blood flow more easily, helping to reduce the risk of a future heart attack or stroke.

Clot formation is a natural defense mechanism of the body, which works to protect you from excessive bleeding in the case of an injury. When you cut yourself, particles in your blood called platelets stick together to form a clot. Clot formation can also be triggered by the rupture of plaque (a buildup of cholesterol and other materials) inside the walls of arteries. When platelets clump together on or near the plaque, they can form a clot that may limit or completely stop the flow of blood to various parts of the body. If a clot forms in an artery supplying blood to the heart, heart-related chest pain or a heart attack can occur. If a clot forms in an artery leading to the brain, a stroke can occur.

What is the difference between Plavix and other medicines?

People take cholesterol and blood pressure medicines to help reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. While reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol is important, it’s also important to address clots – the direct cause of most heart attacks and strokes.

Blood pressure and cholesterol medicines do not work to reduce clot formation. Plavix, unlike blood pressure and cholesterol medicines, works to help keep platelets from sticking together and forming clots.

Is there any important risk information I should know about?

If you have a stomach ulcer or other condition that causes bleeding, you shouldn’t use Plavix. When taking it alone or with some medicines including aspirin, the risk of bleeding may increase. To minimize this risk, talk to your doctor before taking aspirin or other medicines with Plavix.

Does Plavix have any side effects?

The most common side effects were:

  • severe icthing
  • a severe rash characterized by the appearance of purplish spots or patches
  • diarrhea
  • rash

If side effects persist or worsen while taking Plavix contact your doctor immediately.

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