What is clopidogrel?
Clopidogrel keeps the platelets in your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots that can occur with certain heart or blood vessel conditions.
Clopidogrel is used to prevent blood clots after a recent heart attack or stroke, and in people with certain disorders of the heart or blood vessels.
Clopidogrel may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to clopidogrel, or if you have any active bleeding such as a stomach ulcer or bleeding in the brain (such as from a head injury).
Before taking clopidogrel, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, such as hemophilia;
- a history of stroke, including TIA ("mini-stroke");
- a stomach ulcer or ulcerative colitis;
- liver disease; or
- kidney disease.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.
FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether clopidogrel passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
While you are taking clopidogrel, do not take aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) without your doctor’s advice. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Voltaren), diflunisal (Dolobid), etodolac (Lodine), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), ketorolac (Toradol), mefenamic acid (Ponstel), meloxicam (Mobic), nabumetone (Relafen), piroxicam (Feldene), and others.
Avoid sports or activities that could result in a bruising or bleeding injury. Use extra caution to avoid cuts when brushing your teeth or shaving.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking clopidogrel. Alcohol may increase your risk of bleeding in your stomach or intestines.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include vomiting, feeling exhausted or short of breath, and blood in your stools or vomit.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using clopidogrel and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- nosebleed or other bleeding that will not stop;
- black, bloody, or tarry stools;
- coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance; or
- pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, weakness, fever, and urinating more or less than usual.
Less serious side effects may include:
- stomach pain;
- runny or stuffy nose, cough, sore throat; or
- mild headache or dizziness.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking clopidogrel, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- phenytoin (Dilantin);
- tamoxifen (Nolvadex);
- tolbutamide (Orinase);
- torsemide (Demadex);
- fluvastatin (Lescol);
- a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, ardeparin (Normiflo), dalteparin (Fragmin), danaparoid (Orgaran), enoxaparin (Lovenox), or tinzaparin (Innohep);
- other medication used to prevent blood clots, such as alteplase (Activase), anistreplase (Eminase), dipyridamole (Persantine), streptokinase (Kabikinase, Streptase), ticlopidine (Ticlid), and urokinase (Abbokinase); or
- certain stomach acid reducers, such esomeprazole (Nexium), dexlansoprazole (Kapidex), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec, Prilosec OTC, Zegerid), pantoprazole (Protonix), or rabeprazole (AcipHex).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with clopidogrel. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Plavix and clopidogrel
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Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04