What is Plavix® (Clopidogrel) used for?
Plavix® is commonly used to prevent platelets in your blood from sticking together and forming a blood clot. This is because unwanted blood clots can occur with certain heart or blood vessel conditions.
Plavix® is also used to prevent blood clots after a recent heart attack or stroke, and in people with certain disorders of the heart or blood vessels.
Plavix® may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should I take Plavix® (Clopidogrel)?
- Do not crush, break, or chew the tablets.
- Swallow Plavix® whole with a glass of water.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Plavix®.
How do I store Plavix® (Clopidogrel)?
Plavix® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Plavix® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Plavix® 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 Plavix® 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.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Plavix® (Clopidogrel)?
Consult with your doctor or pharmacist, if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Plavix® or other medications.
- You have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Plavix® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Plavix®. Plavix® 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
Not known whether drug is excreted in breast milk.
Always consult your health care provider prior to using this medication if you are pregnant, breastfeeding.
What side effects can occur from Plavix® (Clopidogrel)?
Here are side effects:
- 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
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.
What drugs may interact with Plavix® (Clopidogrel)?
Plavix® 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, nonprescription 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.
Products may interact with Plavix® including:
- CYP2C19 inhibitors
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPI)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Warfarin (CYP2C9 Substrates)
- SSRIs and SNRIs
Does food or alcohol interact with Plavix® (Clopidogrel)?
Plavix® 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 Plavix® (Clopidogrel)?
Plavix® 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.
Some health conditions could interact with this drug including:
- A bleeding or blood clotting disorder, such as TTP (thrombocytopenic purpura) or hemophilia
- A history of stroke, including TIA
- A stomach ulcer or ulcerative colitis
- Kidney disease
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.
What is the dose of Plavix® (Clopidogrel) for an adult?
Acute coronary syndrome
- <75 years
- 300 mg loading dose followed by 75 mg for 14 days up to 12 months (if no bleeding).
- Concomitant therapy with aspirin: administer in combination with aspirin 75-325 mg each day with or without thrombolytics.
- >75 years
- No loading dose.
- 75 mg for 14 days up to 12 months (if no bleeding).
Recent MI, stroke, or established peripheral arterial disease
- 75 mg by oral route daily without a loading dose.
- Recommended as alternative to aspirin or concomitantly with aspirin if patients are not at bleeding risk but at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
Coronary artery disease
75 mg by oral route daily.
Prophylaxis if patients are not candidate for oral anticoagulation.
75 mg/day by oral route.
Carotid artery stenting (Off-label)
300 mg by oral route plus aspirin 81-325 mg for 1 dose on day before carotid artery stenting (CAS), then 75 mg/day by oral route plus aspirin 81-325 mg/day for at least 30 days after CAS.
Alternative: 300-600 mg by oral route once, then 75 mg/day for 4 days before CAS in combination with aspirin 81-325 mg/day.
What is the dose of Plavix® (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 Plavix® (Clopidogrel) available?
Plavix® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Plavix® 75 mg tablets
- Plavix® 300 mg tablets
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.
It is also important to carry a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking with you in case of emergencies.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Plavix®, 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 dose.
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