Clopidogrel (By mouth)

Introduction

Clopidogrel (kloe-PID-oh-grel)

Helps reduce strokes, heart attacks, and other heart problems caused by atherosclerosis (clogged arteries). This medicine is a blood thinner.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Plavix

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to clopidogrel, or if you have a bleeding stomach ulcer or head injury that has caused bleeding in your brain.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using etravirine (Intelence®), felbamate (Felbatol®), fluoxetine (Prozac®), or fluvoxamine (Luvox®). Tell your doctor if you are using medicine to treat a fungus infection (such as fluconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole, Diflucan®, Nizoral®, or Vfend®), other blood thinners (such as ticlopidine, warfarin, Coumadin®, or Ticlid®), or a stomach medicine (such as cimetidine, esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole, rabeprazole, Aciphex®, Nexium®, Prevacid®, Prilosec®, Protonix®, Tagamet®, or Zegerid®).
  • Talk with your doctor before taking aspirin or any other type of pain or arthritis medicine such as diclofenac, etodolac, ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Daypro®, Dolobid®, Feldene®, Indocin®, Motrin®, Naprosyn®, Orudis®, Relafen®, or Voltaren®. Tell your doctor if you are also using fluvastatin (Lescol®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), tamoxifen (Nolvadex®), tolbutamide (Orinase®), or torsemide (Demadex®).
  • If you are using this medicine for a condition called acute coronary syndrome, your doctor may tell you to take aspirin while you are using clopidogrel. In this case, do not change the dose or stop taking the aspirin without talking to your doctor first.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease or liver disease.
  • While you are using this medicine, if you have any kind of bleeding, it may take longer than usual to stop, especially if you hurt yourself. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured.
  • You may also have bleeding inside your body and not be aware of it. Tell your doctor if you have any unusual bleeding such as nosebleeds or blood in your urine or stools.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or other procedures. Do not stop taking your medicine without your doctor's permission.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Bloody or black, tarry stools.
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Chest pain (not related to your disease).
  • Fever, chills, or sore throat.
  • Rapid weight gain.
  • Red or dark brown urine.
  • Severe stomach pain.
  • Skin rash.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, or upset stomach.
  • Headache or dizziness.
  • Joint or back pain.
  • Runny or stuffy nose, cough.
  • Tiredness or weakness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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