How do I know if Clopidogrel (Generic Plavix)is right for me?
If you or someone that you know has experienced a heart attack or stroke, they are at a high risk of reoccurrences if they do not take the proper medications to control risk factors. Most heart attacks and strokes are caused by blood clots, which is why Plavix is so commonly prescribed for patients in this situation. It can reduce your risk so you can live your life without the fear of a repeat attack.
How does Clopidogrel (Generic Plavix) work?
Clopidogrel bisulfate, the generic name for the medication, is an anti platelet agent, or what is commonly known as a “blood thinner.” Its job is just that, to keep the blood thin enough that it can pass through hardened or clogged arteries, and to make sure that the blood does not clot. Plavix makes sure that the platelets in the blood do not clump together to form a blood clot. Plavix has the added benefit over other anti platelet agents that is does not reduce white blood cell counts. When taking other medications like Plavix, patients have to consistently monitor blood counts.
Do not take Plavix while taking Aspirin or other NSAIDS such as Voltaren, Mobic,Naproxen, Relafen.
What dose should I be taking? How do I administer Clopidogrel (Generic Plavix)?
Clopidogrel (Generic Plavix) is sold in tablets of 75 mg. They should be stored at room temperate. Most patients will take one tablet once a day; it can be taken with food or without. Be sure to take Clopidogrel at the same time each day, and to continue regular treatment despite lack of symptoms.
What possible side effects should I look out for?
Most patients tolerate Clopidogrel similarly to Aspirin. Plavix, however, is less likely to cause stomach or intestinal bleeding. Possible adverse reactions can include diarrhea, rash, itching, or abdominal pain.
Can other medications I'm taking be mixed with Clopidogrel (Generic Plavix)?
You may need to stop using the medicine for at least 5 days before having surgery, to prevent excessive bleeding. While you are taking Generic Plavix, do not take aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) without your doctor's advice. This includes over the counter medications including ibuprofen and naproxen.
Clopidogrel bisulfate is activated by enzymes in the liver; therefore any drugs that reduce the activity of such enzymes in the liver can reduce the efficacy of Plavix. These drugs include Prilosec, Zegerid, Nexium, Prozac, Sarafem, Tagamet, Diflucan, etc.
There have not been any studies to date to determine whether or not it is safe to take Plavix during pregnancy. Your doctor can discuss the risks/benefits with you and determine the proper course of action. Studies have however shown that Plavix does get passed through breast milk with unknown side effects in infants. Nursing mothers should consult with a doctor before taking Plavix to avoid unnecessary complications.
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