Clopidogrel – Uses, Side Effects, Warnings, and More
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Clopidogrel is prescribed to patients who have a history of heart disease (including a recent heart attack), stroke, or blood circulation disease in order to reduce the risk of future heart attacks and strokes (peripheral vascular disease). In combination with aspirin, it can also be used to treat chest discomfort that is new or getting worse (such as a new heart attack or unstable angina), as well as to maintain blood arteries open and prevent blood clots following specific surgeries (such as a cardiac stent). Clopidogrel is effective because it prevents platelets from adhering to one another, which in turn stops them from forming potentially dangerous clots. It is a medication that helps prevent platelets from clotting. It helps to maintain a steady flow of blood throughout your body.
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Instructions for taking Clopidogrel
Before beginning treatment with clopidogrel and whenever you get a refill for your prescription, make sure you carefully read the Medication Guide issued by your pharmacist. If you have any questions, you should consult with either your physician or your pharmacist.
Take this drug exactly as advised by your physician, either with or without meals and in most cases only once per day. It is important to maintain consistent use of this drug in order to get the most out of it. Take it at the same time every day so that you don’t forget when you’re supposed to.
Your current health status and how well you respond to treatment will determine the dosage that you take and how long the treatment will last. If you are taking this medication to prevent blood clots after a stent implant or another procedure, your doctor may direct you to continue taking this medication in conjunction with aspirin for an extended period of time (many months to years, depending on the procedure and type of stent) after the procedure. Talk to your physician for more information, including the potential side effects of quitting too soon. Continue taking this medication even if you don’t feel like you need it. It is important that you speak with your healthcare provider before discontinuing the use of this medicine.
While you are taking this medicine, you should avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice unless your doctor or pharmacist has specifically given you permission to do so. The consumption of grapefruit while taking this medication may raise the risk of adverse effects. Inquire with your primary care physician or your pharmacist for further information.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any indications that this medication is not working properly, such as symptoms of a new heart attack or stroke (such as pain in the chest, jaw, or left arm, shortness of breath, unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking, sudden changes in vision, or confusion).
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It’s possible that you’ll get constipation, diarrhea, easy bleeding or bruising, stomach pain or upset, and diarrhea. Notify your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if any of these side effects continue or become worse.
Keep in mind that the reason your doctor has recommended that you take this medication is that he or she believes that the potential benefits to you outweigh the potential risks of doing so. The majority of persons who take this medicine do not report experiencing any severe adverse effects.
Even though it is quite improbable, major bleeding in the brain, eyes, stomach, or intestines could occur. In extremely rare cases, clopidogrel use has been linked to a very dangerous blood disease (thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura-TTP). After beginning treatment with this medicine, side effects could manifest at any time. Get immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms: severe pain in the stomach or abdomen, uncontrolled bleeding from the gums or nose, bloody or black stools, confusion, fever, extreme skin pallor, purple skin patches, fainting, rapid heartbeat, sudden severe headache, unusual weakness or tiredness, vomiting blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, difficulty speaking, changes in vision, seizures, yellowing of the eyes or skin, bloody, red, pink, or dark urine, signs of kidney problems (such as a change in the amount of urine).
It is quite unusual for this medicine to cause an extremely severe allergic reaction. However, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible if you detect any symptoms of a major allergic response, such as a rash, itching/swelling (particularly of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing. These symptoms include:
This list of potential adverse effects is not exhaustive in any way. Please consult your physician or pharmacist if you have any side effects that are not listed above.
In the United States, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit their website at www.fda.gov/medwatch to report any adverse effects.
In Canada, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345 to report any adverse effects you experience.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to clopidogrel, or to other antiplatelet medications (thienopyridines such as prasugrel), or if you have any other allergies before beginning treatment with clopidogrel. There is a possibility that this product contains inactive substances, which, if present, could result in allergic responses or other complications. Discuss the matter further with your pharmacist for further information.
Before beginning treatment with this medication, it is important that you discuss your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, particularly any of the following: conditions that cause bleeding (such as stomach ulcers or bleeding in the brain or eye); recent surgery; serious injury or trauma; liver disease; or bleeding disease (such as hemophilia).
Be careful when using sharp devices such as razors and nail cutters, and stay away from activities such as contact sports if you want to reduce your risk of becoming cut, bruised, or otherwise harmed.
Before undergoing surgery, it is important to discuss all of the products you use with your dentist or doctor (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). It’s possible that your doctor will tell you to stop taking clopidogrel at least 5 days before your surgery. You must first consult with your heart specialist (cardiologist) before discontinuing clopidogrel treatment.
This medication could cause bleeding in the stomach. Consuming alcohol on a regular basis while you are on this medication may raise the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Reduce your intake of alcoholic beverages. Inquire with your healthcare provider or pharmacist about the maximum amount of alcohol that you can safely consume.
During pregnancy, it is important to only use this drug when it is absolutely necessary. Talk to your healthcare provider about the potential drawbacks and advantages.
It is not known whether this medication is found in breast milk. Before starting to breastfeed, you should talk to your healthcare provider.
Drug interactions can alter the way in which your prescriptions work or raise the likelihood that you will have major adverse effects. This document does not contain all possible medication interactions. Maintain a list of all the goods you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as herbal remedies, and give it to both your primary care physician and your pharmacist. Without first consulting your physician, you should never alter the dosage of any medication, stop taking any medication, or start taking any new medication.
Tipranavir is a product that could potentially interact with this medication.
If you are already taking aspirin, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible and ask whether you should continue taking it with this prescription for your particular condition or whether you should stop taking it (aspirin and clopidogrel may be used in combination after a coronary stent procedure, or for some heart conditions). If you are not already taking aspirin, you should discuss starting it for any medical issue with your primary care provider before doing so.
Clopidogrel’s efficacy may be compromised if it is eliminated more slowly from the body than usual due to the concurrent use of certain other drugs. Examples include various acid reducers (proton pump inhibitors/PPIs such as omeprazole, esomeprazole), cimetidine, etravirine, felbamate, fluconazole, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, ketoconazole, rifampin, ticlopidine, voriconazole, among others.
Clopidogrel has the potential to impede the elimination of other medications from your body, which may have an effect on how well those medications perform. Drugs such as dasabuvir and repaglinide are only two examples of those that have been impacted.
It is important to carefully examine the labels of all medications, both those obtained with a prescription and those obtained without one because many medications contain analgesics and antipyretics (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin). When used with clopidogrel, these medications could potentially raise the risk of bleeding or have an antiplatelet effect. Talk to your local pharmacist about the proper way to use these products.
Dial 911 if you suspect that someone has overdosed and they are exhibiting serious symptoms such as passing out or having problems breathing. In any other case, you should immediately contact a poison control center. To reach the poison control center for your area in the United States, dial 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents can call a provincial poison control center.
This drug should not be given to anyone else.
It is possible that you will be subjected to periodic laboratory and/or medical tests (such as a complete blood count) in order to monitor your progress or check for any adverse effects. Consult your doctor for additional details.
If you forget to take a dose, you should take it as soon as you realize you forgot. If it is getting close to the time of the next dose, you should forgo the dose that you missed. Your next dose should be taken at the typical time. It is not necessary to double the dose in order to catch up.
Keep at room temperature and away from light and moisture. Store at room temperature. Keep away from the bathroom at all costs. Always make sure that children and animals are kept well away from any medications.
Unless you have been specifically told to do so, you should not flush drugs down the toilet or pour them down a drain. When it is no longer needed or has passed its expiration date, dispose of this product in the appropriate manner. Talk to your neighborhood pharmacy or the firm that handles garbage disposal in your area.