Clopidogrel

Pronounced

"klo-PIDD-oh-grell"

Common brand names:

Plavix

Uses

Clopidogrel is used to prevent heart attacks and strokes in persons with heart disease (recent heart attack), recent stroke, or blood circulation disease (peripheral vascular disease).

It is also used with aspirin to treat new/worsening chest pain (new heart attack, unstable angina) and to keep blood vessels open and prevent blood clots after certain procedures (such as cardiac stent).

Clopidogrel works by blocking platelets from sticking together and prevents them from forming harmful clots. It is an antiplatelet drug. It helps keep blood flowing smoothly in your body.

Other Uses

This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This medication may also be used to prevent heart attacks and strokes in persons with irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation).

How to Use This Medication

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking clopidogrel and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If you are taking this medication to prevent clots after a stent implant or other procedure, take this medication with aspirin for many months to years after the procedure (depending on the procedure/type of stent) as directed by your doctor. Consult your doctor for more details and about the risks of stopping early. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Get medical help right away if you have any signs that this medication is not working, such as symptoms of a new heart attack or stroke (such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, confusion).

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Information expires June 2015.