What is clopidogrel?


Generic Name: Clopidogrel Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is clopidogrel used for?

Clopidogrel is used to prevent heart attacks and strokes in persons with heart disease (recent heart attack), recent stroke, or blood circulation disease (peripheral vascular disease).

It is also used with aspirin to treat new/worsening chest pain (new heart attack, unstable angina) and to keep blood vessels open and prevent blood clots after certain procedures (such as cardiac stent).

Clopidogrel works by blocking platelets from sticking together and prevents them from forming harmful clots. It is an antiplatelet drug. It helps keep blood flowing smoothly in your body.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This medication may also be used to prevent heart attacks and strokes in persons with irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation).

How should I take clopidogrel?

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking clopidogrel and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take clopidogrel by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Take clopidogrel regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If you are taking clopidogrel to prevent clots after a stent implant or other procedure, take clopidogrel with aspirin for many months to years after the procedure (depending on the procedure/type of stent) as directed by your doctor. Consult your doctor for more details and about the risks of stopping early. It is important to continue taking clopidogrel even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using clopidogrel unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Get medical help right away if you have any signs that clopidogrel is not working, such as symptoms of a new heart attack or stroke (such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, confusion).

How do I store clopidogrel?

Clopidogrel is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store clopidogrel in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of clopidogrel that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush clopidogrel down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using clopidogrel?

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of clopidogrel in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of clopidogrel in the elderly.

Is it safe to take clopidogrel during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category B according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of clopidogrel?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using clopidogrel and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • Nosebleed or other bleeding that will not stop;
  • Bloody or tarry stools, blood in your urine;
  • Coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • Chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • Sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • Sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • Pale skin, weakness, fever, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • Easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with clopidogrel?

Clopidogrel may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Aceclofenac, Acemetacin, Acenocoumarol, Alipogene Tiparvovec, Alteplase, Recombinant, Amlodipine, Amtolmetin Guacil, Anagrelide, Apixaban, Argatroban, Aspirin, Bivalirudin, Bromfenac, Bufexamac, Bupropion, Celecoxib, Choline Salicylate, Cilostazol, Cimetidine, Citalopram, Clevidipine, Clonixin, Dabigatran Etexilate, Dalteparin, Danaparoid, Desirudin, Desvenlafaxine, Dexibuprofen, Dexketoprofen, Diclofenac, Diflunisal, Diltiazem, Dipyridamole, Dipyrone, Drotrecogin Alfa, Duloxetine, Enoxaparin, Eptifibatide, Escitalopram, Eslicarbazepine Acetate, Esomeprazole, Etodolac, Etofenamate, Etoricoxib, Etravirine, Felbamate, Felbinac, Felodipine, Fenoprofen, Fepradinol, Feprazone, Floctafenine, Fluconazole, Flufenamic Acid, Fluoxetine, Flurbiprofen, Fluvoxamine, Fondaparinux, Heparin, Ibuprofen, Ibuprofen Lysine, Indomethacin, Isradipine, Ketoconazole, Ketoprofen, Ketorolac, Lepirudin, Levomilnacipran, Lornoxicam, Loxoprofen, Lumiracoxib, Meclofenamate, Mefenamic Acid, Meloxicam, Milnacipran, Morniflumate, Nabumetone, Naproxen, Nefazodone, Nepafenac, Nicardipine, Nifedipine, Niflumic Acid, Nimesulide, Nimodipine, Nisoldipine, Omeprazole, Oxaprozin, Oxyphenbutazone, Parecoxib, Paroxetine, Phenindione, Phenprocoumon, Phenylbutazone, Piketoprofen, Piroxicam, Pranoprofen, Proglumetacin, Propyphenazone, Proquazone, Protein C, Human, Rabeprazole, Rivaroxaban, Rofecoxib, Salicylic Acid, Salsalate, Sertraline, Sibutramine, Sodium Salicylate, Sulindac, Tenoxicam, Tiaprofenic Acid, Ticlopidine, Tinzaparin, Tolfenamic Acid, Tolmetin, Valdecoxib, Venlafaxine, Verapamil, Voriconazole, Vortioxetine, Warfarin.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Amiodarone, Atorvastatin, Fosphenytoin, Ginkgo, Lovastatin, Phenytoin, Simvastatin, Vitamin A.

Does food or alcohol interact with clopidogrel?

Clopidogrel may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with clopidogrel?

Clopidogrel may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Bleeding, active (eg, peptic ulcers, head injury)—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
  • Stroke, recent;
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini-stroke), recent—May cause side effects to become worse.

Understand the Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Clopidogrel for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Ischemic Stroke:

75 mg orally once a day with or without food.

Aspirin therapy should be initiated and continued in combination with clopidogrel.

Usual Adult Dose for Myocardial Infarction:

75 mg orally once a day with or without food.

Aspirin therapy should be initiated and continued in combination with clopidogrel.

Usual Adult Dose for Acute Coronary Syndrome — Prophylaxis:

75 mg orally once a day with or without food.

Aspirin therapy should be initiated and continued in combination with clopidogrel.

Usual Adult Dose for Peripheral Arterial Disease:

75 mg orally once a day with or without food.

Aspirin therapy should be initiated and continued in combination with clopidogrel.

What is the dose of Clopidogrel for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is clopidogrel available?

Clopidogrel is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet 75 mg; 300 mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

  • unusual bruising or bleeding.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of clopidogrel , take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017