Generic Name: clopidogrel (kloe-PID-oh-grel)
Brand Name: Plavix
Clopidogrel must be converted in the body for it to work. This conversion does not occur as well in some people. The medicine may not work as well in these patients. Your doctor may perform a test to check how well your body is able to convert clopidogrel. Talk with your doctor for more information.
Clopidogrel is used for:
Reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, or death in patients who have already had a heart attack or stroke, have other circulatory problems caused by narrowing and hardening of the arteries, or have certain other heart problems (eg, unstable angina). It also may be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Clopidogrel is a platelet aggregation inhibitor. It works by slowing or stopping platelets from sticking to blood vessel walls or injured tissues.
Do NOT use clopidogrel if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in clopidogrel
- you have an active bleeding problem (eg, bleeding stomach ulcer, bleeding in the brain)
- you are taking dabigatran or certain proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (eg, omeprazole, esomeprazole)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using clopidogrel:
Some medical conditions may interact with clopidogrel. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have bone marrow disease, liver or kidney problems, blood problems, or a history of ulcers
- if you have had a recent injury or surgery, including dental surgery, or if you will be having surgery
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with clopidogrel. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), direct thrombin inhibitors (eg, dabigatran, desirudin), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, celecoxib, ibuprofen), rifamycins (eg, rifampin), rivaroxaban, or salicylates (eg, aspirin) because the risk of bleeding may be increased
- PPIs (eg, omeprazole, lansoprazole), or ticlopidine because they may decrease clopidogrel's effectiveness
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if clopidogrel may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use clopidogrel:
Use clopidogrel as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take clopidogrel by mouth with or without food.
- Take clopidogrel on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
- Do not stop taking clopidogrel without talking to your doctor. This may increase the risk of heart problems.
- If you miss a dose of clopidogrel, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use clopidogrel.
Important safety information:
- Clopidogrel may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use clopidogrel with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a serious, possibly fatal, condition that has occurred in patients who take clopidogrel. It has sometimes occurred after taking clopidogrel for short periods of time (eg, less than 2 weeks). Seek immediate medical attention if you have pale skin; purple skin patches; symptoms of hemolytic anemia (eg, unusual tiredness or weakness, fever or chills, stomach or back pain, yellowing of the eyes or skin); or unusual bruising or bleeding.
- Clopidogrel may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take clopidogrel before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery. You may need to stop clopidogrel before you have certain types of surgery.
- Clopidogrel must be converted in the body for it to work. This conversion does not occur as well in some people (about 2% of white patients, 4% of black patients, and 14% of Chinese patients), and the medicine may not work as well in these patients. Your doctor may perform a test to check how well your body is able to convert clopidogrel. Talk with your doctor for more information.
- Clopidogrel should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using clopidogrel while you are pregnant. It is not known if clopidogrel is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking clopidogrel.
Possible side effects of clopidogrel:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Easy bruising; minor bleeding.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); black, tarry stools; bleeding in the eye; change in the amount of urine produced; change in vision; chest pain; confusion; dark or bloody urine; fever, chills, or sore throat; loss of appetite; pale skin; purple skin patches; seizures; severe, persistent headache; speech problems; stomach or back pain; unexplained weight loss; unusual bruising; unusual, prolonged, or severe bleeding (eg, excessive bleeding from cuts, increased menstrual bleeding, unexplained vaginal bleeding, unusual bleeding from the gums when brushing); unusual tiredness or weakness; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of clopidogrel:
Store clopidogrel at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep clopidogrel out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about clopidogrel, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Clopidogrel is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take clopidogrel or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about clopidogrel. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to clopidogrel. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using clopidogrel.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.