Plavix (Clopidogrel) is a prescription medication used to prevent heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. Clopidogrel is an antiplatelet that works by preventing platelets from binding together and forming clots which can lead to serious complications.
Plavix may be used in place of aspirin for people who have narrowing of the coronary arteries or who have had a stent inserted. When taken alone or with aspirin, clopidogrel helps keep blood flowing smoothly throughout your body to ensure optimal health.
Clopidogrel, commonly known as Plavix, is a widely prescribed antiplatelet medication used to prevent serious or life-threatening problems such as heart attacks and stroke.
Uses and Dosage
Plavix is available in the form of oral tablets in 75mg and 300mg strengths. It is essential to take the medication as directed by a physician, and it should not be started, stopped, or adjusted without consulting a doctor. Swallowing the tablet whole with a glass of water is recommended, and crushing or chewing the tablet should be avoided or the effectiveness of the medication.
For the treatment of Acute Coronary Syndrome, Plavix (clopidogrel) should be administered at a dose of 75 mg once daily orally without a loading dose. However, for patients who require an antiplatelet effect within hours, a single 300 mg loading dose of Plavix should be given initially, followed by 75 mg once daily. It should be noted that initiating Plavix without a loading dose may delay the establishment of the desired antiplatelet effect by several days.
Plavix May Cause Serious Side Effects Including:
- Easy bruising
- Fast heartbeats
- Feeling tired
- Little or no urination
- Pale skin
- Problems with vision or speech
- Purple spots under your skin or in your mouth
- Seizure (convulsions)
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden numbness or weakness
- Yellowing of your skin or eyes (jaundice)
The Most Common Side Effects of Plavix Include:
- Increased bleeding
Form and strength
Plavix and its generic alternative form Clopidogrel are available in the following forms and strengths:
- 75 mg
- 75 mg
- 300 mg
- Patients should not consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking this medication, unless specifically instructed to do so by a physician or pharmacist. Eating grapefruit may increase the risk of experiencing side effects associated with this medicine. For further information, please consult with a doctor or pharmacist.
- Patients taking Plavix (clopidogrel) should be aware that discontinuation of the medication increases the risk of cardiovascular events. If Plavix must be temporarily discontinued due to bleeding or prior to surgery that carries a major risk of bleeding, it should be restarted as soon as possible.
- Patients should inform their doctor and pharmacist prior to taking clopidogrel if they have any known allergies to clopidogrel, prasugrel (Effient), ticlopidine, other medications, or any of the ingredients found in clopidogrel tablets. For a list of these ingredients, please consult with the pharmacist or refer to the Medication Guide.
- Patients with a history of bleeding ulcers (sores in the lining of the stomach or small intestine that are bleeding), bleeding in the brain, or any other condition that causes severe bleeding should inform their doctor prior to taking clopidogrel, as the doctor may advise against taking the medication.
- Prior to taking clopidogrel, patients should inform their doctor if they have recently sustained an injury, or have a history of, or are currently suffering from, liver or kidney disease or any condition that may cause bleeding.
- Patients should inform their doctor if they are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding prior to taking clopidogrel.
- Patients taking clopidogrel should be aware that they may be at an increased risk of bleeding more easily or for a longer period than usual. It is important to take extra care to avoid any injuries or cuts while taking clopidogrel.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are the side effects of Plavix?
Possible side effects of Plavix include bleeding, bruising, stomach pain, headache, and dizziness.
Who should not take Plavix?
Plavix is not recommended for people who have active bleeding, such as a stomach ulcer or bleeding in the brain. It is also not recommended for people who have had a stroke or heart attack within the past two weeks.
How should I take Plavix?
Plavix should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. It is usually taken once daily, with or without food.
Is Plavix safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Plavix has not been studied in pregnant or breastfeeding women, so it is not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.