Plavix (Clopidogrel)

Prescription Required.

Product of Canada.

Shipped from Canada.

Prescription Required.Product of Canada.Shipped from Canada.

Plavix (Clopidogrel)

What is Plavix (Clopidogrel)?

Plavix (clopidogrel) is a platelet inhibitor medication that is prescribed for the prevention of blood clots in patients that have peripheral artery disease, chest pain, a stroke, or a heart attack. It may be used alone for treatment or alongside the addition of other medications to prevent blood clotting-related illness or injury.

How is Plavix Used?

Plavix is available in tablet form and should be taken orally once per day.

It may be taken with or without food.

Storage

Plavix should be stored at room temperature, as close as possible to 77°F (25°C). However, it is safe to allow this medication to temporarily reach temperatures as low as 59°F (15°C) and as high as 86°F (30°C) if needed.

Keep this medication out of the reach of children at all times.

Plavix should not be stored in locations regularly exposed to temperature fluctuations, dampness, or moisture.

Uses

Plavix is prescribed for the prevention of stroke, heart attack, and other adverse cardiovascular events associated with a variety of conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Intestinal arterial insufficiency
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Renal artery atherosclerosis
  • Thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger’s disease)

How Does Plavix Work?

As an antiplatelet medication, Plavix functions by preventing the clumping mechanism of certain platelets associated with clotting. Reducing the ability of the platelets to clump together and properly clot reduces a patient’s chances of developing blood clots that may result in a stroke or heart attack.

Dosage

Plavix is available in tablet form in the following strengths:

  • 75 mg
  • 300 mg

Depending on the circumstances, patients may be required to take an initial “loading dose” of 300 mg. After this, and in general, for most patients, a daily dose of 75 mg is administered for the majority of conditions for which Plavix is prescribed.

Overdose

Although taking additional doses of Plavix may not significantly harm an individual, ingesting too much of the medication may result in a heightened increase in bleeding risk, and this may be serious or even fatal if certain injuries were to occur.

Patients that have taken too much Plavix or that suspect an overdose has occurred should contact their doctor or their local Poison Control Center. If too much Plavix has been ingested and an injury has occurred or internal bleeding is suspected, emergency medical attention should be sought immediately.

Side Effects

The use of Plavix for treatment is associated with a number of different side effects. The most common side effects of taking Plavix are as follows:

  • bruising
  • headaches
  • increased bleeding
  • itching
  • nosebleeds

Some of the following more serious side effects may occur when taking Plavix, and emergency medical care should be sought immediately:

  • confusion
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • easy bruising
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • headaches
  • jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
  • numbness that comes on suddenly
  • paleness of the skin
  • purple spots in the mouth or under the skin
  • rapid heart rate
  • reduced urination (or none at all)
  • shortness of breath
  • speech difficulties
  • visions changes or difficulties
  • weakness

Warnings & Precautions

Plavix may worsen the risk of bleeding or cause other adverse effects in individuals taking the medication that already have certain preexisting medical conditions. Patients should be sure to discuss all current medications, current health conditions, and past medical history with their doctor before beginning treatment.

Allergies

Patients who have previously had allergic reactions to similar antiplatelet medications, such as prasugrel or ticlopidine, may also potentially experience an allergic reaction when taking Plavix. Any previous instances of an allergic reaction to such medications should be reported to the patient’s physician before beginning treatment with Plavix. If a patient begins treatment with this medication and experiences symptoms of an allergic reaction, they should seek emergency medical attention and report this to their prescribing doctor immediately. Some of the signs of an allergic reaction may include swelling of the throat or face, breathing difficulties, itchiness, or a skin rash.

Bleeding

As an anticoagulant medication, Plavix increases an individual’s risk of bleeding. Patients using this medication should avoid taking any other supplements or medicines that may further increase their bleeding risk and exercise caution when engaging in any activities that may result in injury or bleeding. Due to the increased bleeding risk, patients using Plavix should also inform any relevant medical professionals about the use of this medication before undergoing surgery or certain dental procedures.

Individuals with a medical history that includes any bleeding disorders should be sure to discuss these aspects of their health with their physician before beginning treatment, as such conditions may require changes in the dosage of Plavix as well as how well it may work to lower the patient’s blood pressure safely.

Hypoglycemia in Type 2 Diabetics

Patients with type 2 diabetes should discuss this condition with their doctor before beginning treatment with Plavix. Patients that use certain medications, such as repaglinide, to manage their type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of experiencing their blood sugar dropping to dangerously low levels when combining such medications with Plavix. Individuals that have type 2 diabetes and are prescribed Plavix may require monitoring or modifications in the required dosage of the medication to effectively manage their condition to avoid severe hypoglycemia.

Lactose Intolerance

Plavix is not a lactose-free medication. Individuals that have certain lactose-related conditions—such as Lapp lactase deficiency, glucose-galactose malabsorption, or galactosemia—should not use Plavix for treatment. If you have any form of galactose intolerance, please discuss this aspect of your medical history with your physician before beginning treatment with Plavix to find a more suitable alternative.

Kidney Disease

Plavix affects the body’s ability to clear creatinine from the body. Due to this side effect, patients with renal impairment or any type of kidney disease should discuss these conditions with their doctor before beginning treatment with Plavix. Conditions affecting the kidneys may impact the required dosage of medication for safe and effective treatment, and some patients may require monitoring while actively using Plavix.

Liver Disease

Patients with reduced liver function or liver disease should inform their doctor of all relevant medical history related to these conditions before beginning treatment with Plavix. The efficacy of Plavix, as well as the required dosage for treatment, may be impacted by liver-related conditions. In postmarketing reports, Plavix has also resulted in some individuals experiencing abnormal liver function tests as well as acute liver failure.

Plavix should not be used in individuals with severely impaired liver function.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Patients that are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should discuss all of the possible risks of using Plavix with their doctor before beginning treatment with the medication. Plavix may be used during pregnancy, but caution is advised regarding the use of this medication within the week before the patient gives birth, as there is a significant risk of bleeding in such circumstances.

It has not been determined whether Plavix is passed into breastmilk; therefore, patients desiring to breastfeed while using this medication should discuss the potential risks of using this medication while breastfeeding due to the potential impact the medication may have on the breastfed child.

Proton Pump Inhibitors

Patients using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to manage heartburn or stomach ulcers should be sure to report the use of such medications to their doctor before beginning treatment with Plavix. These medications may reduce the absorption and, therefore, the efficacy of Plavix when taken together. Patients may require changes in their medications to accommodate the inclusion of Plavix and prevent reduced efficacy.

Surgical Risks

Any individuals that need to undergo surgery should inform all relevant medical personnel about any use of Plavix due to the increased risk of bleeding that this medication causes to occur. Patients may be required to discontinue their use of Plavix for a short period of time before having any surgical procedures performed to ensure safety and minimize blood loss during surgery.

Drug Interactions

Speak to your doctor about any medications or herbal supplements you are currently taking before beginning treatment with Plavix. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor or a trusted pharmacist.

The following medications, supplements, and additional substances are known to interact with Plavix:

  • acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)
  • amiodarone
  • amlodipine
  • anagrelide
  • anticoagulants
  • antiplatelet medications
  • apalutamide
  • apixaban
  • “-azole” antifungals
  • bupropion
  • calcium channel blockers
  • cannabis
  • citalopram
  • clopidogrel
  • cobicistat
  • dabigatran
  • dabrafenib
  • dasatinib
  • desloratadine
  • desvenlafaxine
  • diclofenac
  • diltiazem
  • dipyridamole
  • duloxetine
  • edoxaban
  • efavirenz
  • enoxaparin
  • enzalutamide
  • esomeprazole
  • etravirine
  • fentanyl
  • fluconazole
  • fluoxetine
  • ginger
  • ginkgo biloba
  • ginseng
  • glucosamine
  • grapefruit juice
  • heparin
  • HIV non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs)
  • Ibuprofen
  • ketoconazole
  • ketorolac
  • lansoprazole
  • moclobemide
  • morphine
  • multivitamins
  • naproxen
  • nevirapine
  • nifedipine
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • obinutuzumab
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • omeprazole
  • oseltamivir
  • paclitaxel
  • pantoprazole
  • paroxetine
  • pantoprazole
  • paroxetine
  • pazopanib
  • pentosan polysulfate sodium
  • pentoxifylline
  • pioglitazone
  • prasugrel
  • protein kinase inhibitors
  • proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • repaglinide
  • rifampin
  • rivaroxaban
  • rosuvastatin
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • sertraline
  • ticagrelor
  • ticlopidine
  • tipranavir
  • topotecan
  • venlafaxine
  • verapamil
  • vitamin E
  • voriconazole
  • warfarin

Alternative Medications

For patients who are unable to take Plavix or experiencing significant adverse side effects, alternative medications may be used to treat some of the associated conditions for which this medication is commonly prescribed:

  • acetylsalicylic acid/dipyridamole (Aggrenox)
  • alteplase (Activase)
  • aspirin
  • lisinopril (Prinivil, Qbrelis, Zestril)
  • metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
  • nitroglycerin (GoNitro, Nitrolingual, Nitrostat, Nitro-Time, Rectiv)
  • pravastatin (Pravachol)
  • ticagrelor (Brilinta)

Frequently Asked Questions

Plavix is not known to cause harm to an unborn child, making it safe for use during pregnancy. However, the use of Plavix within the final week of pregnancy before childbirth occurs may result in significant bleeding for the mother. Patients that are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should discuss all possible risk factors when using Plavix during either of these phases of life.

Patients using Plavix should avoid consuming alcohol due to the increased risk of bleeding in the stomach. These individuals should also ask their pharmacist or physician before taking any medicines to manage swelling, pain, fever, or cold and flu symptoms. Medications with similar ingredients to aspirin (i.e., ibuprofen, naproxen, ketoprofen, salicylates, etc.) may further increase a patient’s risk of bleeding when these are taken alongside Plavix.

Additionally, patients using Plavix for treatment should also exercise caution when engaging in any activities that include a risk of injury or bleeding.

Plavix includes a boxed warning regarding liver function. The liver enzyme, cytochrome p-450 2C19 (CYP2C19), may vary amongst individuals. Those impacted by irregularities associated with this enzyme may have Plavix break down more slowly, resulting in impaired efficacy of the medication. Before using Plavix, your doctor should test you to check for this genetic variance, and you may be prescribed a different medication to use instead.

Those who actively have any bleeding occurring or that have bleeding in the brain, an allergy to Plavix or any of its ingredients, or a stomach ulcer present should also not use Plavix. Patients that have a history of blood clotting disorders, bleeding disorders, or ulcers in their intestines or stomach should discuss these aspects of their medical history with their doctor before beginning treatment with Plavix. Additionally, Plavix may not work effectively for individuals with certain genetic differences associated with their liver function, and these patients may require the use of a different medication for treatment.

Plavix is an antiplatelet medication, otherwise known as a platelet aggregation inhibitor. By reducing the ability of a patient’s platelets to properly clump together and clot, Plavix improves blood flow and helps to reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other adverse cardiac events.

Plavix improves blood flow within the body and reduces clotting to help lower the risk of circulatory problems, heart attack, and stroke in individuals who have certain conditions that affect their arteries, such as peripheral arterial disease and atherosclerosis.

Plavix may cause side effects in individuals using the medication. The most commonly experienced side effects associated with Plavix include the following: diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, heartburn, headache, changes in taste, vomiting, muscle pain, joint pain, and nausea. Some of the serious side effects that may occur when using Plavix that require emergency medical attention include flu-like symptoms, pneumonia, liver issues, hypoglycemia, symptoms of infection, bleeding, abdominal discomfort, tingling sensations in the extremities, and breast tissue enlargement in men.

Plavix comes as a tablet available in the strengths of 75 mg and 300 mg.

Yes. Individuals with any of the following conditions or risk factors for those conditions should be sure to discuss their medical history with their physician before beginning treatment with Plavix: an allergy to antiplatelet medications, type 2 diabetes, bleeding conditions, impaired liver or kidney function, lactose intolerance, pregnancy or potential to become pregnant, and stomach ulcers. Patients requiring any type of surgery or significant dental procedures are also at an increased risk of bleeding while using Plavix and will need to discuss these risks with all relevant medical personnel before undergoing any type of procedure.

Plavix is a tablet that should be taken orally once per day. Patients should take Plavix exactly as instructed by their prescribing physician, and some individuals may be required to take an initial “loading dose” of 300 mg before beginning their once-daily regimen with the medication.

The most important factor a patient should be aware of regarding Plavix is that any individual currently dealing with active bleeding, brain bleeding, or stomach ulcers should not use the medication for any reason. Additionally, it’s important to inform your physician of any blood clotting conditions, bleeding disorders, or the presence of an ulcer in the intestines or stomach before beginning treatment with this medication. Certain genetic conditions may also impact the safety and efficacy of Plavix, so this may be something your doctor will need to test you for before using the medication.

If an overdose is suspected or has occurred, the patient’s doctor or local Poison Control Center should be contacted for further instruction. However, taking an overdose of Plavix is often not associated with any immediate danger unless a serious injury occurs. If too much Plavix is present in a patient’s system and they become injured, there is a serious risk of bleeding both internally and externally that may potentially be fatal. In these cases, emergency medical attention should be sought immediately.

Patients taking Plavix will often receive regular monitoring of their health to ensure that it is working both effectively and safely. Typically, this will include regular checks to ensure there are no signs of bleeding, as well as blood work to monitor the patient’s CBC (complete blood count).

The active ingredient in Plavix is clopidogrel. The inactive ingredients in Plavix include the following: hydrogenated castor oil, mannitol, low-substituted hydroxypropyl cellulose, polyethylene glycol 6000, and microcrystalline cellulose. The inactive ingredients present in the coating on Plavix tablets include triacetin, red iron oxide, carnauba wax, titanium dioxide, hypromellose, and lactose.

Yes. There are a number of different alternatives to Plavix available. If you are unable to take Plavix or struggling with adverse side effects, please discuss these concerns with your prescribing physician, and you will likely be prescribed a more suitable medication to take instead.

Plavix should be stored as close to room temperature (77°F) as possible and away from any moisture and dampness.