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Common Brand Name(s): Plavix
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
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.
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 drug may also be used to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people with irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation).
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 this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Take this medication 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 this medication to prevent clots after a stent implant or other procedure, take this medication 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. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication 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 this medication 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, trouble speaking, sudden vision changes, confusion).
Easy bleeding/bruising, stomach upset/pain, diarrhea, and constipation may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Although unlikely, serious bleeding in the stomach, gut, eyes, or brain may occur. Also, clopidogrel can rarely cause a very serious blood disorder (thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura-TTP). Symptoms may appear any time after starting this medication. Get medical help right away if any of these symptoms occur:
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking clopidogrel, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to similar antiplatelet drugs (thienopyridines such as prasugrel); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Your doctor may instruct you to stop clopidogrel for at least 5 days before surgery. Do not stop taking clopidogrel without talking with your heart doctor (cardiologist) first.
This medicine may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol while using this medicine may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcoholic beverages. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about how much alcohol you may safely drink.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also How to Use section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
A product that may interact with this drug is:
If you are currently taking aspirin, consult your doctor promptly and ask whether to continue or stop taking it with this medication for your specific condition (aspirin and clopidogrel may be used in combination after a coronary stent procedure, or for some heart conditions). If you are not currently taking aspirin, consult your doctor before starting it for any medical condition.
Other medications can affect the removal of clopidogrel from your body, which may affect how clopidogrel works. Examples include certain acid reducers (proton pump inhibitors/PPIs such as omeprazole, esomeprazole), cimetidine, etravirine, felbamate, fluconazole, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, ketoconazole, rifampin, ticlopidine, voriconazole, among others.
Clopidogrel can slow down the removal of other drugs from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include repaglinide, among others.
Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many medications contain pain relievers/fever reducers (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin). These drugs may increase the risk of bleeding/antiplatelet effect when used with clopidogrel. Ask your pharmacist about using these products safely.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Alberta residents can call PADIS (Poison and Drug Information Service) 24 hours a day at 1-800-332-1414. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as complete blood count) may be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
If you have questions about missing a dose or you don't have more medication, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised March 2023.
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