Aggrenox

Generic Name: Dipyridamole

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Aggrenox is a medicine used to lower the risk of stroke in people who have had a "mini-stroke" or full stroke due to a blood clot.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Blood clots form when certain blood cells, called platelets, clump together. Aggrenox works by making platelets in the blood less sticky, so they are less likely to clump together and form blood clots.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Studies have shown that people taking Aggrenox twice a day were 22% less likely to have a stroke than patients taking aspirin alone. Over 90% of people taking Aggrenox remained stroke-free for two years.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Aggrenox exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    Your healthcare provider will monitor you regularly to check how well this medication is working.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: headache, upset stomach, abdominal (stomach area) pain, nausea, diarrhea.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Increased risk of bleeding in your brain, stomach, or intestines, with symptoms such as severe headaches with drowsiness, confusion or memory change, stomach pain, heartburn or nausea, vomiting blood or your vomit looks like coffee grounds, red or bloody stools, black tarry stools, or fainting.

    New or worsening chest pain in some people with heart disease. Tell your healthcare provider if you have new chest pain or have any change in your chest pain.

    Liver problems, with symptoms such as loss of appetite, pale colored stool, abdominal pain, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, dark urine, or itching.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Aggrenox if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take Aggrenox if you are allergic to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as ibuprofen or naproxen).

    Do not take Aggrenox if you have asthma in combination with a runny nose and nasal polyps.

    Do not give Aggrenox to a child or teenager. Reye's syndrome (a potentially fatal disease of the brain and liver that most commonly occurs in children after a viral infection, such as chickenpox) can happen when aspirin (an ingredient in Aggrenox) is given to children and teenagers who have certain viral illnesses.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Aggrenox. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have stomach ulcers; heart, kidney, or liver problems; low blood pressure; myasthenia gravis (a disease characterized by long-lasting fatigue and muscle weakness); a history of bleeding problems; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: The recommended dose is 1 capsule twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Aggrenox exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Aggrenox without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Take Aggrenox with or without food.

    Swallow Aggrenox capsules whole. Do not crush or chew them.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol while you are taking Aggrenox.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Aggrenox is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Aggrenox with the following: acetazolamide, adenosine, blood pressure/heart medications known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (such as enalapril or lisinopril) or beta-blockers (such as atenolol or propranolol), blood thinners (such as heparin or warfarin), diabetes medicines, medicines used for Alzheimer's disease (such as donepezil or rivastigmine), methotrexate, NSAIDs, phenytoin, probenecid, sulfinpyrazone, valproic acid, or water pills (such as furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide).

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Aggrenox can harm your unborn baby, especially if you take it in the last (third) trimester of pregnancy. Aggrenox can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Aggrenox, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from excessive moisture.

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