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Plavix Review Article

 

Plavix (generic name: clopidogrel) is an oral anti-platelet drug that prevents the risk of heart attack as it discourages the formation of clots thereby improving the blood flow to the different parts of the body including the heart and brain. The drug is prescribed to patients who suffer from stroke, angina aside from heart attack. Plavix inhibits the platelets to clump together but it does not reduce the white cells in the body. Side effects of the drug include abdominal pain, bronchitis, hematoma, fatigue, dizziness and problems with both the urinary and respiratory tract. While taking this medication, it is strongly discouraged to take NSAID or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. On the other hand, other drugs that interact with plavix include nexium, kapidex, prevacid, tamoxifen, fluvastatin and phenytoin. Pregnant women are discouraged to take this medication.

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Why is this drug prescribed?
Plavix keeps blood platelets slippery and discourages formation of clots, thereby improving blood flow to your heart, brain, and body. The drug is prescribed to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and serious circulation problems in people with hardening of the arteries or unstable angina (dangerous chest pain), and in people who've already suffered a heart attack or stroke.

Most important fact about this drug
Because Plavix slows clotting, it will take longer than usual to stop bleeding. Be sure to report any unusual bleeding to your doctor immediately, and tell any doctor or dentist planning a procedure that you have been taking Plavix. You should discontinue the drug 5 days before any kind of surgery.

How should you take this medication?
Plavix can be taken with or without food.

If you miss a dose
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.

Storage
Store at room temperature.

What side effects may occur?
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue using Plavix.
More common side effects may include:
Abdominal pain, back pain, bronchitis, bruising and bleeding under the skin, chest pain, coughing, depression, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, dizziness, fatigue, fluid retention and swelling, flu symptoms, headache, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, indigestion, inflammation of the nasal passages, itching, joint pain, nausea, pain, purple discoloration of skin, rash, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection
Less common side effects may include:
Anemia, anxiety, arthritis, cataracts, constipation, fainting, fever, gout, heart problems, hernia, increased heart rate, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, joint disease, leg cramps, loss of sensitivity to touch, nosebleed, pinkeye, pneumonia, skin problems, stomach and intestinal bleeding, skin tingling, sinus inflammation, vomiting, weakness
Rare side effects may include:
Allergic reactions including swelling of the face and throat and difficulty breathing, bleeding in the eyes, confusion, decreased circulation in the skin, decreased white blood cell counts, excessive menstrual flow, fatal bleeding, hallucinations, kidney problems, liver problems, skin erruptions, stomach ulcers, taste disorders, wheezing, widespread internal bleeding

Why should this drug not be prescribed?
Do not take Plavix if you have a bleeding stomach ulcer or bleeding in the area around the brain. Also avoid this medication if it gives you an allergic reaction.

Special warnings about this medication
If you've ever had a stomach ulcer or bleeding in the digestive tract, make sure the doctor is aware of it; Plavix should be used with caution. The drug should also be used carefully if you suffer from problems inside the eyes, have bleeding problems due to severe liver disease, or expect to be at risk of bleeding from any other cause. In extremely rare cases (about 4 in a million), a dangerous bleeding problem called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura has been known to develop in patients taking Plavix. Signs include fever and bleeding under the skin. Call your doctor immediately if you develop these symptoms.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication
Plavix increases the clot-fighting effect of aspirin. The two drugs are often taken together, and combined treatment has lasted for up to one year. If Plavix is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Ask your doctor before starting any new drug; and be doubly careful before combining Plavix with the following:
Aspirin
Fluvastatin (Lescol)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin, and Naprosyn
Phenytoin (Dilantin)
Tamoxifen (Nolvadex)
Tolbutamide (Orinase)
Torsemide (Demadex)
Warfarin (Coumadin)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
The effects of Plavix during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Use Plavix during pregnancy only if absolutely necessary. Do not breastfeed while taking Plavix, since the drug may appear in breast milk.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS:
The usual dose is 75 milligrams once a day. To give people with unstable angina an extra boost, their first dose is usually increased to 300 milligrams.

CHILDREN:
The safety and effectiveness of Plavix have not been established in children.

Overdosage
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Plavix, seek medical attention immediately.
∑ Potential symptoms of Plavix overdose may include:
Difficulty breathing, exhaustion, stomach or intestinal bleeding, vomiting

Caution! Before starting to take this medicine, it is vital that you should consult your doctor! Do not use it on your own initiative, without medical advice.


Plavix notes:

Plavix(plavex) generic name Clopidogrel marketed as clopidogrel bisulfate is used to prevent blood clots after a recent heart attack or stroke and in people with certain disorders of the heart or blood vessels. It keeps the platelets in blood from coagulating to prevent unwanted blood clots.

The recommended dosage of clopidogrel drug is 75 mg once a day. If a dose is missed take it as soon as it is remembered, if itís the time for the next dose then skip the missed one and continue with the regular schedule. Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Plavix side effects includes nosebleed, black or bloody stools, coughing up blood, sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, stomach pain or chest pain.

It is advisable not to take NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and aspirin along with plavix without doctorís consultation. Other drugs that can interact with plavix includes nexium, kapidex, prevacid, tamoxifen, fluvastatin and phenytoin. It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Consult doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant during treatment.

Store plavix at room temperature away from moisture and heat.


 

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