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Generic Name: clopidogrel (kloe-PID-oh-grel)
Brand Name: Plavix

Plavix 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 Plavix. Talk with your doctor for more information.


Plavix 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.

Plavix is a platelet aggregation inhibitor. It works by slowing or stopping platelets from sticking to blood vessel walls or injured tissues.

Do NOT use Plavix if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Plavix
  • 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 Plavix:

Some medical conditions may interact with Plavix. 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 (eg, ticlopidine, prasugrel), 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 Plavix. 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, salicylates (eg, aspirin), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (eg, fluoxetine, sertraline), or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) (eg, duloxetine, venlafaxine) because the risk of bleeding may be increased
  • PPIs (eg, omeprazole, lansoprazole), or ticlopidine because they may decrease Plavix's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Plavix 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 Plavix:

Use Plavix as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Plavix by mouth with or without food.
  • Take Plavix on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
  • Do not stop taking Plavix without talking to your doctor. This may increase the risk of heart problems.
  • If you miss a dose of Plavix, 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 Plavix.

Important safety information:

  • Plavix may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Plavix 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 Plavix. It has sometimes occurred after taking Plavix 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.
  • Plavix 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 Plavix before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery. You may need to stop Plavix before you have certain types of surgery.
  • Plavix 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 Plavix. Talk with your doctor for more information.
  • Plavix 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 Plavix while you are pregnant. It is not known if Plavix is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Plavix.

Possible side effects of Plavix:

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:

Easy bruising; minor bleeding.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

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 Plavix:

Store Plavix 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 Plavix out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Plavix, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Plavix 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 Plavix 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 Plavix. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Plavix. 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 Plavix.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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.

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