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All about: Aggrenox

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Generic name: Aspirin with Extended-release dipyridamole
Brand names: Aggrenox

Why is Aggrenox prescribed?

Aggrenox is prescribed to stave off a stroke in people who have had a "mini-stroke" (transient ischemic attack) or a full-scale stroke due to a blood clot blocking an artery in the brain.

Both the ingredients in Aggrenox prevent the formation of clots by interfering with the tendency of blood platelets to clump together. However, the two ingredients together are more effective at preventing strokes than either ingredient taken alone. Aggrenox doesn't eliminate the possibility of a stroke; but it does reduce the odds by almost six percentage points during the first two years of treatment.

Most important fact about Aggrenox

Because of the aspirin in Aggrenox, this product cannot be used by people who have an allergy to aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Motrin, and Naprosyn, or by people who suffer asthma attacks after taking aspirin.

How should you take Aggrenox?

Aggrenox should be taken once in the morning and once in the evening. The capsule should be swallowed whole without chewing. This drug may 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. Never take 2 doses at the same time.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature and protect from excessive moisture.

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 taking Aggrenox.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Abdominal pain, back pain, bleeding, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, headache, indigestion, joint pain, nausea, pain, vomiting

Why should Aggrenox not be prescribed?

You should not take Aggrenox if you have ever had an allergic reaction to aspirin, dipyridamole, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. You should also avoid Aggrenox if you have asthma, a persistent runny nose, or nasal polyps, or if you have severe liver or kidney disease.

Aspirin can cause a dangerous brain disorder called Reye's Syndrome in children and teenagers who have a viral illness. Since Aggrenox contains aspirin, it is not recommended for children or teenagers.

Special warnings about Aggrenox

The aspirin in Aggrenox can cause stomach bleeding. You should avoid Aggrenox if you have a stomach ulcer, and should use it with care if you have liver disease or any kind of bleeding disorder. (Regular heavy drinking increases the danger of bleeding problems.) Also, be sure to tell the doctor that you are taking Aggrenox if you have a medical emergency or plan to have surgery or dental work.

The dipyridamole in Aggrenox causes blood vessels to expand and should be used cautiously by people with heart disease, especially those with chest pain (unstable angina) or a recent heart attack. It can make chest pain worse and trigger episodes of very low blood pressure.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Aggrenox

If Aggrenox is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Aggrenox with the following:

ACE inhibitors (heart and blood pressure medications such as Capoten and Vasotec)
Acetazolamide (Diamox)
Blood pressure medications classified as beta-blockers, including Inderal, Sectral, and Tenormin
Blood-thinning drugs such as Coumadin
Gout medications such as Benemid and Anturane
Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Motrin, and Indocin
Oral diabetes drugs such as Diabinese and Micronase
Seizure medications such as Depakene and Dilantin
Water pills (diuretics) such as Lasix and HydroDiuril

If you suffer from the muscle disease myasthenia gravis, treatment with Aggrenox may interfere with your drug therapy.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Aggrenox can seriously harm a developing baby, leading to low birth weight, bleeding in the brain, birth defects, and even death. Aggrenox should not be used during the final 3 months of pregnancy, and should be taken during the first 6 months only if its benefits outweigh the possibility of harm to the developing baby. Notify your doctor immediately if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Use Aggrenox with caution if you are breastfeeding a baby, since Aggrenox appears in breast milk.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

The recommended dosage of Aggrenox is one capsule twice a day, in the morning and evening.

Overdosage

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of Aggrenox overdose may include:
    Dizziness, flushes, irregular heartbeat, restlessness, ringing in the ears, sweating, warm feeling, weakness

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