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Plavix Side Effects

Generic Name: clopidogrel

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug clopidogrel. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Plavix.

For the Consumer

Applies to clopidogrel: oral tablet

As well as its needed effects, clopidogrel (the active ingredient contained in Plavix) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking clopidogrel, check with your doctor immediately:

More common
  • Chest pain
  • collection of blood under the skin
  • deep, dark purple bruise
  • itching, pain, redness, or swelling
  • pain in general
  • red or purple spots on the skin, varying in size from pinpoint to large bruises
Less common
  • Nosebleed
  • painful or difficult urination
  • shortness of breath
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
Rare
  • Black, tarry stools
  • blistering, flaking, or peeling of the skin
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • confusion
  • fever, chills, or sore throat
  • headache (sudden, severe)
  • nausea or vomiting
  • stomach pain (severe)
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • weakness (sudden)
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps or swelling
  • back pain or backaches
  • blurred vision
  • change in mental status
  • cough or hoarseness
  • dark urine
  • difficulty with breathing or swallowing
  • difficulty with speaking
  • dizziness
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fast heartbeat
  • feeling of discomfort
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • hives
  • inflammation of the joints
  • itching
  • light-colored stools
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle aches
  • pale color of the skin
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • rash
  • reddening of the skin, especially around the ears
  • seizures
  • sweating
  • swelling of the eyes, face, or inside of the nose
  • swollen lymph glands
  • swollen or painful glands
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • watery or bloody diarrhea
  • wheezing
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some clopidogrel side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

Incidence not known
  • Bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • bloating
  • change in taste
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with moving
  • headache
  • hives or welts
  • indigestion
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • noisy breathing
  • pain in the joints
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • redness, soreness, or itching skin
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • skin blisters
  • sores, welting, or blisters
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to clopidogrel: oral tablet

General

The most commonly reported adverse effect was bleeding, including life threatening and fatal bleeding.[Ref]

Hematologic

In the COMMIT study (n=45,852), the incidence of major non-cerebral or cerebral bleeding was 0.6% in clopidogrel (the active ingredient contained in Plavix) plus aspirin treated patients, with 0.4% classified as major non-cerebral (0.2% fatal) and 0.2% as hemorrhagic stroke (0.2% fatal). Non-major noncerebral bleeding or any noncerebral bleeding occurred in 3.6% and 3.9% of patients receiving this drug plus aspirin, respectively. Major bleeds were defined as cerebral bleeds or non-cerebral bleeds thought to have caused death or that required transfusion.

In the CURE study (n=12,562), the incidence of fatal bleeding (0.2%) and intracranial hemorrhage (0.1%) was the same between clopidogrel with aspirin and placebo with aspirin groups.[Ref]

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Fatal bleeding, eosinophilia, leucopenia, increased bleeding time, thrombocytopenia
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Neutropenia
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Decreased platelet count
Postmarketing reports: Serious cases of bleeding (mainly skin), hemarthrosis, hematoma, hemorrhage of operative wound, fatal hemorrhage (intracranial, gastrointestinal, and retroperitoneal), thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), acquired hemophilia A, aplastic anemia, pancytopenia, agranulocytosis, granulocytopenia, anemia[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

In the CAPRIE study (n=19,185), gastrointestinal hemorrhage occurred in 2% of patients taking clopidogrel (the active ingredient contained in Plavix) compared to 2.7% taking aspirin. Bleeding requiring hospitalization occurred in 0.7% clopidogrel-treated and 1.1% aspirin-treated patients.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal pain, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, dyspepsia, diarrhea, nausea, gastritis
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Vomiting, flatulence, constipation, gastric, peptic, or duodenal ulcer
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Retroperitoneal hemorrhage
Postmarketing reports: Colitis (ulcerative or lymphocytic), pancreatitis, stomatitis[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Postmarketing reports: Angioedema, anaphylactic reactions, cross reactive hypersensitivity among thienopyridines (e.g. ticlopidine, prasugrel)[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Common (1% to 10%): Chest pain, hypertension, angina pectoris, coronary artery disorder, peripheral ischemia
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hematoma
Postmarketing reports: Hypotension, syncope, vasculitis[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, headache
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Paresthesia
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Vertigo, intracranial hemorrhage
Postmarketing reports: Taste disturbances[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Common (1% to 10%): Arthralgia, back pain
Postmarketing reports: Arthritis, myalgia, musculoskeletal bleeding[Ref]

Psychiatric

Common (1% to 10%): Depression
Postmarketing reports: Hallucinations, confusion[Ref]

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Upper respiratory tract infection, dyspnea, rhinitis, coughing, bronchitis, epistaxis
Postmarketing reports: Bronchospasm, interstitial pneumonitis, eosinophilic pneumonia, respiratory tract bleeding (hemoptysis, pulmonary hemorrhage)[Ref]

Dermatologic

Common (1% to 10%): Rash, purpura, pruritus, bruising
Postmarketing reports: Maculopapular, erythematous, or exfoliative rash, urticaria, bullous dermatitis, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome (DRESS), eczema, lichen planus[Ref]

In CAPRIE (n=19,185), 4.2% of patients receiving clopidogrel developed a rash compared to 3.5% in the aspirin group. In CURE (n=12,562), 1.3% treated with clopidogrel and aspirin compared to 1.1% placebo, as well as 0.7% of patients in CLARITY (n=3491) reported a rash. Drug discontinuation due to skin disorders in CAPRIE was 0.8% and in CURE 0.4% of patients.[Ref]

Hepatic

Postmarketing reports: Hepatitis (noninfectious), acute liver failure, abnormal liver function tests[Ref]

Metabolic

Common (1% to 10%): Hypercholesterolemia[Ref]

Genitourinary

Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection
Postmarketing reports: Hematuria[Ref]

Ocular

Postmarketing reports: Eye bleeds (conjunctival, ocular, retinal)[Ref]

Other

Common (1% to 10%): Accidental/inflicted injury, influenza-like symptoms, pain, fatigue, infection
Postmarketing reports: Fever[Ref]

Renal

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hematuria
Postmarketing reports: Glomerulopathy, serum creatinine increase[Ref]

Immunologic

Postmarketing reports: Serum sickness[Ref]

Endocrine

Postmarketing reports: Gynecomastia[Ref]

Local

Common (1% to 10%): Puncture site bleeding[Ref]

References

1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. "Product Information. Plavix (clopidogrel)." Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ.

It is possible that some side effects of Plavix may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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