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Description

Plavix is an anti-platelet prescription medicine that stops platelets from sticking to each other and forming blood clots. This drug is found effective in the treatment of coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease and cerebrovascular disease. A clot can block a blood vessel resulting in cutting off the blood supply to an important part of the body. This drug helps in maintaining the flow of blood in patients having heart problems and peripheral arterial disease. Plavix is commonly used to prevent blood clots in patients who have suffered strokes or heart attacks in the past. This medication is approved by most of the drug regulatory authorities of different countries.

Plavix should be administered exactly as per the doctor’s prescription. Patients must not adjust the dosage of the drug on their own and must strictly follow the listed usage instructions:

  • This drug can be taken with or without food as directed by the doctors.
  • The drug is usually taken once in a day and one must take the medication regularly at the same time.
  • Patients taking Plavix must regularly visit the doctor to ensure that the drug is not causing any harm to them.
  • The medication must be regularly used to obtain its best benefit.

Dosages

Plavix or Clopidogrel is available in 75mg and 300 mg strength. The right dosage of the drug is determined by the doctor depending upon the medical history of the patient, response to the treatment and age. The dose of Plavix is determined depending upon the condition for which it is recommended.

  • The adult dosage for prevention of blood clots after unstable angina is 300 mg at the initial stage and then the dosage is changed to 75 mg of tablet taken once in a day.
  • The adult dosage for prevention of blood clots after a heart attack is 75 mg of tablet once in a day.
  • The dose for peripheral artery disease and for prevention of blood clots after a recent heart attack or stroke is a 75mg of tablet taken once in a day.

Missed Dose and Overdose of Plavix

A missed dose of Clopidogrel can be consumed when one remembers it. If the time for next dose is approaching then the patients can skip the missed dose and continue with the normal dose. Double dose of the drug is strictly not recommended.

Overdose of Plavix may result in bleeding complications and thus, patients must seek medical attention immediately. A platelet blood transfusion may be given to patients to restore the blood's ability to clot. Treatments may vary as per the symptoms and problems that arise due to the overdose.

Storage Instructions

Proper storage of Plavix must be ensured to maintain its effectiveness.

  • It should be stored at room temperature 68 to 77°F (20 to 25°C), away from moisture and heat.
  • Expired drug should be safely disposed.
  • Plavix should be kept away from the reach of children and pets.

Cautions

There are few vital facts associated with Clopidogrel which the patients must be aware of while administering this drug.

  • Patients should avoid Plavix if they have a history of bleeding problem or are suffering from any illness, like stomach or duodenal ulcer that causes bleeding.
  • Pregnant women must take Clopidogrel only after consulting the doctor. The effects of Plavix in not known on an unborn baby.
  • Those who are allergic to clopidogrel or any of the ingredients in Plavix should avoid the drug.
  • One should avoid this drug if one has to undergo any surgery or dental surgery.
  • Patients with weak liver functioning should also avoid Plavix.

Side Effects

Plavix or Clopidogrel may cause some unwanted side effects. Most of the side effects are common and usually disappear after the regular usage of the medication. Some of the common side effects associated with the drug include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Collection of blood under the skin
  • Itching or redness
  • Anxiety
  • Low blood pressure
  • Numbness

Some of the serious side effects are also associated with Clopidogrel. Patients experiencing any of the given serious side effects must immediately consult the doctor.

  • Unexpected bleeding or bleeding that lasts a long time
  • Blood in their urine (pink, red or brown urine)
  • Red or black stools (looks like tar)
  • Bruises that happen without a known cause or get larger
  • Cough up blood or blood clots
  • Vomit blood or their vomit looks like coffee grounds

Patients must keep in mind that while taking Plavix they may bruise and bleed more easily.

Plavix Interactions

In clinical studies it has been determined that Plavix along with certain drugs may cause serious medical problems. The patients are advised not to take Clopidogrel along with proton pump inhibitors and NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Following medications are known to reduce the effect of Plavix:

  • Proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole and esomeprazole
  • Non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen, ibuprofen and diclofenac
  • Medicines that break down blood clots like alteplase and streptokinase
  • Aspirin
  • Heparin
  • Venlafaxine

Patients must make sure that the doctor knows about all prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements that are being administered by them.

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