Generic Name: Clopidogrel (kloh PID oh grel)
Brand Name: Plavix
Medically reviewed on July 4, 2018
- This medicine may not work as well in some people. A test can be done to see if you are one of these people. Talk with your doctor.
Uses of Clopidogrel:
- It is used to prevent heart attacks.
- It is used to prevent strokes.
- It is used after a heart treatment to protect the arteries.
- It is used to lower the number of heart attacks in patients who have unstable angina or mild heart attacks.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Clopidogrel?
- If you have an allergy to clopidogrel or any other part of clopidogrel.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Esomeprazole, omeprazole, or repaglinide.
- If you have active bleeding.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with clopidogrel.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take clopidogrel with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Clopidogrel?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take clopidogrel. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists. This medicine may need to be stopped before certain types of surgery as your doctor has told you. If clopidogrel is stopped, your doctor will tell you when to start taking clopidogrel again after your surgery or procedure.
- Do not stop taking clopidogrel without calling the doctor who ordered it for you.
- If you fall or hurt yourself, or if you hit your head, call your doctor right away. Talk with your doctor even if you feel fine.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly bleeding problems have happened with clopidogrel. Talk with the doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before using products that have aspirin, blood thinners, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo, ibuprofen or like products, pain drugs, or vitamin E.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using clopidogrel while you are pregnant.
How is this medicine (Clopidogrel) best taken?
Use clopidogrel as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take clopidogrel at the same time of day.
- Take with or without food.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking clopidogrel as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses unless told to do so by your doctor.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
- Very bad headache.
- Shortness of breath.
- Feeling confused.
- Purple spots or redness of the skin.
- A fast heartbeat.
- Very bad belly pain.
- Very upset stomach or throwing up.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly blood problems like thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome (TTP/HUS) have happened with clopidogrel in some people. Call your doctor right away if you feel very tired or weak or have any bruising or bleeding; dark urine or yellow skin or eyes; pale skin; change in the amount of urine passed; change in eyesight; change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, or change in balance; or fever.
What are some other side effects of Clopidogrel?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Clopidogrel?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time clopidogrel is refilled. If you have any questions about clopidogrel, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about clopidogrel
- Clopidogrel Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 59 Reviews
- Drug class: platelet aggregation inhibitors
Other brands: Plavix