Plavix - Precautions | Use | Side Effects

This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on August 12, 2018. To read more about an author, click here.

Plavix is a drug that contains active substance called clopidogrel. It belongs to family of antiplatelet drugs. Mechanism of action is based on inhibiting aggregation of platelets. It is used to reduce atherosclerotic events, such as:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral arterial occlusive disease


Plavix should be avoided in patients who have some genetic disorders (e.g. patients who have lack of CYP2C19 enzyme), because in such patients Plavix cannot be metabolized properly, thus leading to Plavix accumulation in the body and side effects.

This drug prevents your blood from clotting, which means that your body will not be able to stop the bleeding as usual. Therefore, you need to avoid any activities that may cause you bleeding.

Plavix may cause serious condition called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Symptoms of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura include: stomachache, tiredness, pale skin, fever and unusual bruising. Call your doctor right away if you are experiencing any of above listed symptoms.

It should be used with extra precautions in patients who have:

  • Blood problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Bone marrow disease
  • Ulcers

Use of Plavix during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Plavix should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

How to use

Recommended dosage regimens for adults:

Condition Recommended dose
Unstable Angina 75 mg once a day (maintenance dose)
Stroke 75 mg once a day
Heart attack 75 mg once a day
Peripheral arterial disease 75 once a day

Note: Medicine is intended only for the prevention of above listed disorders.

There is no need for dose adjustment in elderly patients as well as in patients with liver or kidney problems.

Use with other medicines (Interactions)

Below is a list of medicines you should avoid while using Plavix:

  • Drugs used to treat or prevent blood clots. If these medicines are used concurrently with Plavix, it may lead to bleeding.
  • Medicines used to treat diarrhea, such as: loperamide.
  • Macrolide antibiotics, such as: clarithromycin and roxithromycin.
  • Proton pump inhibitors: omeprazole, pantoprazole and lansoprazole.
  • Tositumomab
  • Bortezomib
  • Dabigatran
  • Fluoxetine
  • Olanzapine
  • Naproxen
  • Mifepristone
  • Prasugrel

This list is not complete. Inform your doctor about all medicines and herbal remedies you are taking.

Side effects

Side effects of Plavix include:

  • Change in mental status
  • Confusion
  • Blood in the urine
  • Accumulation of blood under the skin
  • Unusual bruising
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Painful urination
  • Severe headache
  • Slurred speech
  • Tachycardia
  • Pain in the muscles
  • Weakness
  • Allergy

Call your doctor right away if you get any of above listed side effects.

Information on this website are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.

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