Clopidogrel – What is it for, how to take it and side effects

Clopidogrel – What is it for, how to take it and side effects that we should be aware of. Additionally,  clopidogrel is a prescription drug that is available as the brand-name drug Plavix. It is also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in all strengths or shapes like the branded version.

What Clopidogrel is Used For:  Clopidogrel is used to prevent blood clots if you have chest pain, poor circulation in your legs (peripheral artery disease), heart attack or stroke. This medicine can be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you may need to take it with other drugs. Your doctor will decide whether to use this medication with other drugs, such as aspirin.

How Clopidogrel Works:  Clopidogrel belongs to a class of drugs called platelet inhibitors or inhibitors of the thienopyridine class of P2Y12 ADP platelet receptors. A class of drugs refers to drugs that work in a similar way. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions. Platelets are blood cells that help your blood clot normally. Clopidogrel  helps prevent platelets from sticking. This prevents blood clots from forming.

How to Take Clopidogrel:  This dosage information is for the clopidogrel oral tablet . All possible doses and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form and how often you take it will depend on:

  • Your age
  • The condition to be treated
  • How serious is your condition
  • Other medical conditions you have
  • How do you react to the first dose
  • Shapes and strengths

Brand: Plavix
Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 75 mg and 300 mg

Generic: clopidogrel
Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 75 mg and 300 mg

Dosage for Acute Coronary Syndrome:

Dosage for adults (aged 18 years and over)

  • An initial (loading) dose is 300 mg, taken by mouth once. Starting treatment without a loading dose will delay the effects by several days.
  • The maintenance dose is 75 mg taken orally once a day.

Child dosage (ages 0-17 years):  This medicine has not been studied in children and should not be used in people under the age of 18.

Dosage for recent heart attack, recent stroke, or peripheral artery disease

Dosage for adults (aged 18 years and over)

  • The recommended dose is 75 mg orally once a day.

Infant dosage (ages 0-17 years)

  • This medicine has not been studied in children and should not be used in people under 18 years of age.

Take As Directed:  Clopidogrel oral tabletis used for long-term treatment. It comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If You Don’t Take or Miss Your Doses: If you don’t take all of your doses of clopidogrel , you increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. These conditions can be fatal.

If you have to temporarily stop taking clopidogrel, start taking it again as soon as your doctor tells you to. Stopping this medicine may increase the risk of serious heart disease, stroke or blood clot in the legs or lungs.

If You Take Too Much: If you take too much clopidogrel , you could have serious side effects. These include bleeding. Call your doctor or poison control center immediately.

What to do if you miss a dose: If you miss a dose, take clopidogrel as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Take just one dose at your normal time. Do not take two doses of clopidogrel at the same time unless your doctor tells you to.

How to Tell if the Drug Is Working: This drug may be working if you don’t have a heart attack or stroke.

Clopidogrel Side Effects:  Clopidogrel oral tablet does not cause drowsiness. However, this causes other side effects.

Most Common Side Effects:  The most common side effects that can occur with clopidogrel include:

  • bleeding
  • itchy skin

If you have itchy skin, it may go away within a few days or a few weeks. If it’s more serious or doesn’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects:  Call your doctor right away if you experience serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you are having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

Severe and life-threatening bleeding. Symptoms can include:

  • Bleeding or unexplained bleeding that lasts a long time
  • Blood in your urine (pink, red, or brown urine)
  • Red or black stools that look like tar
  • Unexplained bruises or bruises that expand
  • Coughing up blood clots or blood
  • Vomiting blood or vomit that looks like coffee

Blood clotting problem called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). This condition can happen after taking clopidogrel, even if you only take it for less than 2 weeks. In TTP, blood clots form in blood vessels anywhere in the body. Get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Purplish (purple) patches on your skin or in your mouth (mucous membrane) due to bleeding under the skin
  • Yellowing of the skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • tiredness or weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Fever
  • Fast heart rate or shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding language (aphasia)
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Brain stroke
  • Seizure
  • Low amount of urine or urine that is pink or has blood in it
  • Stomachache
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • vision loss

Note: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, as drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare professional who knows your medical history.

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