Clopidogrel is an anti-platelet drug. It works by preventing platelets (a formed cellular element in the blood) from clustering hence, preventing blood from forming blood clots. Clopidogrel is used in the prevention and treatment of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and acute coronary syndrome.
Do not take clopidogrel if you have active bleeding anywhere in the body such as the stomach (ulcer), intestines or in the head (type of stroke). Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have any of the following: bleeding or blood disorder, stomach or intestinal ulcer; liver disease; or need to have surgery (including dental surgery). It may take longer than usual for you to stop bleeding, even from minor wounds while taking clopidogrel. Tell your doctor about any unusual bleeding or bruising that you experience. You may not be able to take clopidogrel, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you have any of the aforementioned conditions.
Clopidogrel is unlikely to harm an unborn baby. It is also not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Nevertheless, clopidogrel is not recommended for use during breast-feeding. Inform your doctor first if you are pregnant, or could become pregnant before starting to take clopidogrel. Take clopidogrel exactly as directed by your doctor. Take each dose with a full glass of water and it can be taken with or without food. If you missed a dose,
take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
Seek emergency medical attention if you experience any symptoms of possible clopidogrel overdose. Although overdose symptoms of this medication are unknown but might include vomiting, difficulty breathing, blood in the vomit or stool, and exhaustion.
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking clopidogrel and seek emergency medical attention. These include: an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); bloody (or black) vomit or stools; severe headache, confusion, or dizziness; unexplained bruising or bleeding; or nose bleeding (epistaxis).
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur are the following: upset stomach; diarrhea or constipation; or headache or dizziness.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any other unusual side effect that you may experience.
Before taking this medication tell your doctor if you are taking these medicines: aspirin; warfarin (Coumadin); heparin, ardeparin (Normiflo), dalteparin (Fragmin), danaparoid (Orgaran), enoxaparin (Lovenox), or tinzaparin (Innohep); or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve), ketoprofen (Orudis KT, Orudis, Oruvail), indomethacin (Indocin), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), diflunisal (Dolobid), etodolac (Lodine), fenoprofen (Nalfon), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), nabumetone (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), piroxicam (Feldene), sulindac (Clinoril), or tolmetin (Tolectin). The medicines listed above can cause bleeding, especially when taken with clopidogrel and could become dangerous. Do not take any of the medicines listed above without first talking to your doctor.
Clopidogrel may also interact with the following medications: phenytoin (Dilantin); tamoxifen (Nolvadex); tolbutamide (Orinase); torsemide (Demadex); and
fluvastatin (Lescol). You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any of the medications listed above. Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with clopidogrel. Before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products, inform your doctor.
Plavix for oral administration is provided as pink, round, biconvex, debossed film-coated tablets containing 97.875 mg of clopidogrel bisulfate which is the molar equivalent of 75 mg of clopidogrel base. Each tablet contains hydrogenated castor oil, hydroxypropylcellulose, mannitol, microcrystalline cellulose and polyethylene glycol 6000 as inactive ingredients. The pink film coating contains ferric oxide, hypromellose 2910, lactose monohydrate, titanium dioxide and triacetin. The tablets are polished with Carnauba wax.
Clopidogrel has the following structural formula: