Plavix

Generic Name: Clopidogrel

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Plavix is a medicine used to treat people who have chest pain due to heart problems, poor circulation in their legs, and those who have had a recent heart attack or stroke.

  • 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. Plavix 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: Plavix helps lower your chance of having another serious problem with your heart or blood vessels such as heart attack, stroke, or a blood clot.

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

    Plavix may not work as well in people who have certain genetic factors that affect how the body breaks down Plavix. Your healthcare provider may do genetic tests to make sure Plavix is right for you.

    More common side effects may include: bleeding.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Serious and sometimes life-threatening bleeding, with symptoms such as unusual bruising (bruises that develop without known cause or grow in size), nosebleeds, bleeding from cuts that takes a long time to stop, pink or brown urine, red or black stools, coughing up blood, or vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.

    Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (a condition in which blood clots form in the blood vessels and can occur all over the body), with symptoms such as purplish spots on your skin or in your mouth, paleness or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, tiredness, weakness, fever, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, headache, speech changes, confusion, stroke, seizure, low amount of urine or urine that is pink or has blood in it, abdominal (stomach area) pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or vision changes.

  • Who should not take this medication?

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

    Do not take Plavix if you currently have a condition that causes bleeding (such as a stomach ulcer).

  • 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 Plavix. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of stomach or intestinal ulcers or bleeding problems, plan to have surgery or a dental procedure, 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.

    Chest Pain or Recent Heart Attack

    Adults: The recommended dose is 75 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your healthcare provider may give you a single 300-mg dose before having you take 75 mg a day, based on your condition.

    Recent Stroke or Poor Circulation in the Legs

    Adults: The recommended dose is 75 mg once a day.

    It is important that you do not stop taking this medication abruptly. If you need to change or stop taking this medication, it is important that you only do this with the guidance of your healthcare provider.

  • How should I take this medication?

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

    Take Plavix with or without food.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not stop taking Plavix without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping Plavix earlier than recommended may increase your risk of heart problems.

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

    If Plavix 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 Plavix with the following: esomeprazole, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as ibuprofen or naproxen), omeprazole, or warfarin.

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

    The effects of Plavix during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Plavix. 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 Plavix, 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.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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