Generic Name: clopidogrel (kloe PID oh grel)
Brand Name: Plavix
Medically reviewed on August 15, 2017.
What is clopidogrel?
Clopidogrel helps to prevent platelets in your blood from sticking together and forming a blood clot. Unwanted blood clots can occur with certain heart or blood vessel conditions.
Clopidogrel is used to prevent blood clots after a recent heart attack or stroke, and in people with certain disorders of the heart or blood vessels.
Clopidogrel may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medicine if you have any active bleeding such as a stomach ulcer or bleeding in the brain.
Clopidogrel increases your risk of bleeding, which can be severe or life-threatening. Call your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have bleeding that will not stop, if you have blood in your urine, black or bloody stools, or if you cough up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to clopidogrel, or if you have any active bleeding such as a stomach ulcer or bleeding in the brain (such as from a head injury).
Some medicines can interact with clopidogrel and should not be used at the same time. Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you also take other medicines, especially certain stomach acid reducers (esomeprazole, omeprazole, Nexium, Prilosec).
To make sure clopidogrel is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, such as TTP (thrombocytopenic purpura) or hemophilia;
a history of stroke, including TIA ("mini-stroke");
a stomach ulcer or ulcerative colitis;
kidney disease; or
This medicine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether clopidogrel passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I take clopidogrel?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Clopidogrel can be taken with or without food.
Because clopidogrel keeps your blood from clotting, it can also make it easier for you to bleed, even from a minor injury. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have bleeding that will not stop.
If you need surgery or dental work, tell the surgeon or dentist ahead of time that you are using clopidogrel. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time before having surgery, to prevent excessive bleeding. Follow your doctor's instructions and start taking clopidogrel again as soon as possible.
You should not stop using this medicine suddenly. Use clopidogrel regularly even if you feel fine or have no symptoms. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking clopidogrel?
Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of bleeding in your stomach or intestines.
Clopidogrel side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Clopidogrel may cause you to bleed more easily, which can be severe or life-threatening. Seek emergency medical attention if you have any unusual bleeding, or bleeding that will not stop. You may also have bleeding on the inside of your body, such as in your stomach or intestines. Call your doctor at once if you have blood in your urine, black or bloody stools, or if you cough up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Call your doctor at once if you have any other serious side effects:
easy bruising, purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
little or no urination;
fast heart rate, feeling short of breath;
heart attack symptoms--chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect clopidogrel?
Certain other medicines may increase your risk of bleeding. Tell your doctor if you take aspirin, especially if you have had a stroke. Talk to your doctor about whether you should take aspirin with clopidogrel.
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
an antidepressant--citalopram, desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, milnacipran, paroxetine, sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone, venlafaxine, vilazodone, and others.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with clopidogrel, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 13.01.
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- Drug class: platelet aggregation inhibitors