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All about: Clopidogrel

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Generic Name: Clopidogrel (kloh-PID-oh-grel)
Brand Name: Plavix

Clopidogrel is used for:

Reducing the risk of stroke or heart attack in patients who have already had a heart attack or stroke, or have other circulatory problems due to narrowing and hardening of the arteries. It also may be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Clopidogrel is a platelet aggregation inhibitor. It works by slowing or stopping platelets from sticking to blood vessel walls or injured tissues.

Do NOT use Clopidogrel if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Clopidogrel
  • you have an active bleeding disorder, such as stomach ulcer or bleeding in the brain

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Clopidogrel :

Some medical conditions may interact with Clopidogrel . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have bone marrow disease
  • if you have increased risk of bleeding because of trauma or surgery, including dental surgery
  • if you have liver or kidney problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Clopidogrel . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Oral anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) or NSAIDs (eg, aspirin, ibuprofen) because the risk of side effects, including the risk of bleeding, may be increased by Clopidogrel

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Clopidogrel may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Clopidogrel :

Use Clopidogrel as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Clopidogrel by mouth with or without food.
  • Clopidogrel may need to be stopped if you are going to have surgery. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor or dentist.
  • If you miss a dose of Clopidogrel , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Clopidogrel .

Important safety information:

  • This medicine may cause dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Clopidogrel with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Clopidogrel may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Clopidogrel before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Clopidogrel should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Clopidogrel while you are pregnant. It is unknown if Clopidogrel is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Clopidogrel .

Possible side effects of Clopidogrel :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Abdominal pain; back pain; bronchitis; bruising; constipation; coughing; depression; diarrhea; dizziness; flu-like symptoms; headache; indigestion; itching; joint pain; nausea; nosebleed; pain; rash; runny nose; swelling; tiredness; upper respiratory tract infection; urinary tract infection.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bleeding in the eye; change in vision; chest pain; difficulty breathing; discoloration of urine or stools, including black, tarry stools; excessive bleeding from cuts; increased bleeding; increased menstrual bleeding; pale skin; seizures; severe, persistent headache; sore throat or fever; speech problems; unexplained vaginal bleeding; unusual bleeding from gums when brushing; unusual bruising; weakness; yellowing of skin/eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Clopidogrel :

Store Clopidogrel at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Clopidogrel out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Clopidogrel , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Clopidogrel is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Clopidogrel . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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