General information on Plavix
Plavix, with active ingredient clopidogrel, belongs to a class of drugs known as antiplatelet drugs. The drug is used for preventing clotting of the blood after a heart attack, heart failure or stroke. It is also used in certain cases of high blood pressure to prevent clotting of blood. The drug works by preventing the platelets from joining together. Platelets are blood cells which join together in the event of an injury to stop the blood flow. Thus, by preventing platelets from joining together, the drug prevents clotting of blood.
Precautions/side effects of Plavix
Plavix contains the active ingredient clopidogrel. Patients allergic to clopidogrel should refrain from using this drug. Other than that, patients with stomach ulcer or a history of head injury should refrain from using this drug. Patients with kidney diseases or a clotting disorder should take this drug only after consultation with a doctor.
Plavix is also know to react with certain medications such as antifungal drugs like ketoconazole, fluconazole etc., medications used for treating HIV such as etravirine, drugs used for treating cancer such as letrozole, blood thinners like warfarin, heparin, enoxaparin etc. If the patient is on any of these drugs, the doctor should be accordingly informed before taking Plavix.
The drug is also known to show certain side effects such as itching, redness of the skin and nausea. However, in certain cases, serious side effects may show up to the drug such as bloody stools, profuse bleeding, blurred vision, jaundice, purplish spots on the skin etc. If any of these symptoms show up after taking Plavix, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Important safety information
- While taking this drug, non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be avoided. Common examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen etc.
- Alcohol should be avoided while on this drug as it increases the risk of side effects.
- Sports or other activities which have a high risk of injury involved should be avoided. Plavix prevents blood clotting. Hence, even a minor injury can lead to a lot of blood loss.
- If a surgical procedure is required, this drug should be stopped as least 5 days prior to surgery and the surgeon should be accordingly informed.
Dosage of Plavix
Plavix is available in 75 mg and 300 mg tablets. The usual prescribed dose of Plavix is 75 mg once daily. The drug may or may not require a loading dose of 300 mg. A loading dose is a dose used for initializing treatment. The drug can be taken with or without food with a glass full of water.
While on this drug, regular blood tests are important to prevent any fatal conditions. The overdose of the drug should be avoided at all costs. If a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible. However, it should not be clubbed with the next dose. Overdose of the drug can cause complications such as breathlessness, vomiting, bloody stools etc. which require immediate medical attention.
Storage of Plavix
Plavix should be stored in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. It should be stored at a temperature of 15-30 degree Celsius and should not be allowed to freeze. Plavix should be kept out of reach of children and pets at all times.