Clopidogrel (By mouth)

Introduction

Clopidogrel (kloe-PID-oh-grel)

Used alone or together with aspirin to help prevent stroke, heart attack, and other heart problems. This medicine is a blood thinner.

Brand Name(s)

Plavix

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to clopidogrel, or if you have a bleeding stomach ulcer or a head injury that has caused bleeding in your brain.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Ask your doctor if you should use aspirin with clopidogrel.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also use etravirine (Intelence®), felbamate (Felbatol®), fluoxetine (Prozac®), or fluvoxamine (Luvox®). Tell your doctor if you are using medicine to treat a fungus infection (such as fluconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole, Diflucan®, Nizoral®, or Vfend®), other blood thinners (such as ticlopidine, warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®, or Ticlid®), or certain stomach medicines (such as cimetidine, Tagamet®).
  • Talk with your doctor before you take aspirin or any other pain or arthritis medicine, such as diclofenac, etodolac, ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Daypro®, Dolobid®, Feldene®, Indocin®, Motrin®, Naprosyn®, Orudis®, Relafen®, or Voltaren®. Tell your doctor if you are also using fluvastatin (Lescol®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), tamoxifen (Nolvadex®), tolbutamide (Orinase®), or torsemide (Demadex®).
  • Tell your doctor if you take esomeprazole or omeprazole (Nexium®, Prilosec®). You should not use these medicines at the same time as clopidogrel.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, if you have had a recent stroke, or if you have a history of bleeding problems.
  • Your doctor may do genetic tests before prescribing this medicine to find out if you have a liver enzyme deficiency. This medicine may not work well for you if you have this condition.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any unusual bleeding, such as nosebleeds or blood in your urine or stools. You may bleed or bruise more easily while you take this medicine, and any bleeding may take longer than usual to stop. Avoid rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you use this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine at least 5 days before having surgery or other procedures (such as coronary stent procedure or dental surgery). Tell your doctor if you plan to have surgery or a dental procedure. Do not stop taking your medicine without your doctor's permission.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms: confusion, dark or bloody urine, difficulty speaking, fever, seizures, weakness, or skin changes (pale skin, yellow eyes or skin, or pinpoint red spots). These maybe symptoms of a rare and serious condition called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP).
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Bloody or black, tarry stools
  • Nosebleeds
  • Pale skin
  • Pinpoint red or purple spots on skin or in the mouth
  • Problems with vision, speech, or walking
  • Red or dark brown urine
  • Seizures
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Shortness of breath, tiredness, uneven heartbeat, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
  • Vomiting of blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

         
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