Plavix (Clopidogrel) Dosage and Side Effects
You have been prescribed PLAVIX because you are at risk for experiencing unwanted blood clots (thrombi). These blood clots can lead to symptoms which present in different manners, such as strokes, unstable angina, heart attacks, or peripheral arterial disease (leg pain on walking or at rest). PLAVIX is taken to prevent further blood clots from forming thereby reducing the risk of having unstable angina, a heart attack or another stroke.
Your doctor can also prescribe PLAVIX for you if you have an irregular heartbeat, a condition called ‘atrial fibrillation’, and you cannot take medicines known as ‘oral anticoagulants’ (for example, warfarin) which prevent new clots from forming and prevent existing clots from growing.
Warnings and Precautions
BEFORE you use PLAVIX talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you:
- have a medical condition that is causing bleeding, such as a stomach ulcer, or a blood disorder that causes you to bleed more easily or tend to bleed longer than 10 minutes without taking any drugs.
- are taking any other medications such as:
- acetylsalicylic acid (ASA),
- other drugs used to reduce blood clotting such as warfarin, heparin, abciximab, eptifibatide and tirofiban,
- oral antidepressants drugs SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) such as fluvoxamine, fluoxetine,
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) used to treat painful and/or inflammatory conditions of muscles or joints
- are taking drugs used to treat stomach ulcers and stomach acidity (e.g. omeprazole).
- are pregnant or become pregnant on PLAVIX, or you are breast-feeding.
- have recently undergone surgery (including dental surgery).
- will be having surgery. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking PLAVIX for 5-7 days before your surgery.
- have allergies to medications including prasugrel or ticlopidine.
PLAVIX is not recommended for children or adolescents below 18 years of age.
While you are on PLAVIX if you experience any excessive bleeding, do not stop taking PLAVIX but see or call your doctor right away.
If you should see another doctor or a dentist while you are using PLAVIX, you should inform them that you are using PLAVIX.
Side effects may include:
- joint pain and/or muscle pain
- abdominal pain, diarrhea, indigestion (heartburn)
- nausea, vomiting, constipation
- dizziness, headache
- tingling sensation in the arms and/or legs
- rash, itching
- enlargement of breast tissue in men
If you cut or injure yourself, it may take slightly longer than usual for bleeding to stop. For minor cuts and injuries, e.g. cutting yourself shaving, this is of no concern. However, if you are in any doubt at all, you should contact your doctor immediately.
If any of these affects you severely, tell your doctor or pharmacist.
Interactions with this medication
Tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you take, including any drugs, vitamins, minerals, natural supplements or alternative medicines.
Drugs that may interact with PLAVIX include:
- Aspirin (ASA) used to treat pain, fever and inflammation,
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) used to treat painful and/or inflammatory conditions of the muscles or joints,
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, used to treat depression,
- Drugs use to reduce clotting such as; heparin, warfarin, abciximab, eptifibatide, and tirofiban,
- Antacids (e.g. omeprazole) used for indigestion or heartburn.
- Repaglinide, a drug used to lower blood glucose in diabetics
- Paclitaxel, used to treat many types of cancer
Proper Use of this medication
Usual adult dose:
Adults (including the elderly):
You should take one 75 mg tablet of PLAVIX per day, by mouth. PLAVIX can be taken with or without food. You should take your medicine regularly and at the same time each day. If you have had unstable angina or a heart attack, a one-time 300 mg dose may be administered followed by one 75 mg tablet daily.
If you have atrial fibrillation, the usual dose is PLAVIX 75 mg once daily in combination with ASA 75-100 mg once daily.
PLAVIX should be taken long term under supervision of your doctor.
If you think you have taken too much PLAVIX, contact your healthcare professional, hospital emergency department or regional Poison Control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms.
If you forget to take a dose of PLAVIX, but remember within 12 hours of your usual time, take your tablet immediately and then take your next tablet at the normal time. If you forget for more than 12 hours simply take the next single dose at the usual time. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you missed. When using blister format you can check the day on which you last took a tablet of PLAVIX by referring to the calendar printed on the blister strip.