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Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Clopidrogel

Clopidrogel is the active ingredient of Plavix.

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Clopidrogel is the active ingredient of Plavix.

General Information

Clopidrogel is an antiplatelet medicine - it prevents blood clot formation in arteries by reducing the stickiness of platelets in blood. It is prescribed in those at risk of stroke and heart attack.

Although clopidrogel is a suitable alternative in those who can't tolerate aspirin, it may still cause similar side effects, including stomach upset and/or stomach ulcers.

Clopidrogel should not be prescribed to those taking warfarin as it may increase the risk of bleeding.

How does clopidrogel work?

Clopidrogel prevents stroke (when a blood clot prevents blood flow to parts of the brain) or heart attack (when a blood clot prevents blood flow to parts of the heart) by discouraging blood clot formation.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 3

Available as: Tablets

What does it do? Clopidrogel prevents blood clotting

Overdose risk: Medium

Dependence risk: Low

Available as a generic? No

Available on prescription only? Yes

User information

Onset of effect: Within 2 hours.

Duration of action: Up to 24 hours.

Dietary advice: Clopidrogel can be taken with or without food.

Stopping this medicine: Do not stop taking this drug without speaking to your doctor.

Prolonged use: Side effects are more likely to occur with long-term use.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have a stomach ulcer,
  • you have liver or kidney disease,
  • you have a condition that make you more likely to bleed, or a history of
  • bleeding problems, including bleeding on the brain,
  • you are taking other medication, or
  • you are planning to have surgery.

Pregnancy: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant

Breastfeeding: Avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: This medication is not intended for use in children.

Elderly: No special precautions need to be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: No special precautions need to be taken.

Alcohol: Avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication as it may increase stomach irritation

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Nausea/ vomiting

x

x

Diarrhoea/ stomach pain

x

x

Stomach ulceration

x

x

Abnormal bruising/ nosebleeds

x

x

Dizziness/ light-headedness/ weakness

x

x

Headache

x

x

Skin rash/ itching

x

x

Body/ joint aches or pain

x

x

Anaemia

x

x

Anxiety

x

x

Chest pain/ shortness of breath

x

x

High fever/ severe infection

x

x

Interactions:

Drug interactions:

Aspirin

Increased risk of bleeding

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Increased risk of bleeding

Phenytoin

Increased risk of phenytoin toxicity

Warfarin

Increased risk of bleeding

Cimetidine

Increased risk of Clopidrogel side effects

 

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