Plavix (Clopidogrel)

What is Plavix?

The generic drug Plavix (Clopidogrel) is prescribed to thwart the platelets in the blood from clotting, thereby preventing superfluous blood clots that may crop up in specific heart or blood vessel conditions. In other words, this generic drug is anti-platelet that slows down the capability of platelets to cluster together forming a blood clot.


Plavix Facts

Plavix (Clopidogrel) is much akin to Ticlid (ticlopidine) in terms of its chemical structure as well the manner in which it functions. However, unlike Ticlid (ticlopidine), this generic drug does not result in severe decrease of white blood cell in the blood and, hence, does not require any routine blood test to determine the white blood cell count. Plavix (Clopidogrel) also reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients having a history of heart attacks and strokes as well as peripheral vascular diseases that narrows down the blood vessels.

Plavix Indications

Plavix (Clopidogrel) is used to avert blood clots following a recent heart attack or stroke as well as to treat people enduring specific heart, peripheral vascular disease and blood vessel conditions. A scientific study has shown that this generic drug to be more effective than aspirin in lessening the risk of heart attacks. In addition, the research showed that although the frequency of side effects of Plavix (Clopidogrel) and aspirin were same, compared to aspirin this generic drug caused less stomach and intestinal bleedings. This prescription drug functions by blocking specific blood cells called platelets and prevents them from forming harmful blood clots. This "anti-platelet" effect of the generic drug helps to keep blood flowing smoothly in the body.

Plavix Dosage

This generic drug is prescribed to be taken orally once every day with or without food. Take this generic drug with a glass full of water and follow your physicians recommendations strictly. While this prescription drug may be taken at any time of the day, it is advisable to take the medication around the same time every day. Moreover, it is important to use Plavix (Clopidogrel) regularly to avail the maximum benefits of this generic drug. If you need to have any surgery or dental work, tell your doctor that you are using Plavix (Clopidogrel) and in such cases, you may be required to stop taking this generic drug five days before the surgery to avoid profuse bleeding.

Plavix Side Effects

The most common side effects of using Plavix (Clopidogrel) include rash, diarrhea, itching black, bloody, or tarry stools, coughing up blood, chest pain, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, sudden numbness or weakness, pale skin, easy bruising or urinating more or less than usual. Some people taking this generic drug may also experience abdominal pain. This prescription drug is related to a severe decline in white blood cell count in approximately 0.8 per cent to 1.0 per cent patients. However, Plavix (Clopidogrel) seldom results in a condition called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) – a serious condition in which blood clots form throughout the body. Blood platelets, which participate in clotting, are consumed, and the result can be bleeding because enough platelets are no longer left to allow blood to clot normally. In such cases, the patients should seek emergency medical help. As this generic drug keeps the blood from clotting to prevent unwanted blood clots, it can also make it easier for the patient to bleed, even from a minor injury.

Plavix Precautions

Before you intend to use the generic drug, you must tell your doctor if you are allergic to it or have allergic reactions to other substances. You must also tell your physician of your entire medical history, especially blood disorders, bleeding condition (peptic ulcers), liver ailments, kidney disorders, eye diseases, recent surgery, serious injuries and other conditions that may be related to bleeding. Use of this generic drug may give rise to a drowsy or dizzy feeling and, hence, people taking Plavix (Clopidogrel) should be alert while driving or using machinery. At the same time, daily drinking of alcohol while taking this prescription drug may enhance the threats of stomach bleeding. In addition, pregnant women should take this generic drug only when it is absolutely necessary. It is also not advisable to give this prescription drug to nursing mothers. Plavix (Clopidogrel) Interactions:Using Plavix (Clopidogrel) in combination with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may enhance the risk of stomach and intestinal bleeding. When used in high concentrations, this generic drug slows down the action of the enzyme that eliminates a blood thinner called Coumadin (warfarin). This may increase the perils of bleeding owing to excessive thinning of the blood. There has been numerous complaints that proton pump inhibitors may lessen the impact of this prescription drug as they lessen the conversion of Plavix (Clopidogrel).