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Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate) is a blood-thinning drug prescribed to treat chest pain due to heart problems, poor circulation of the legs (peripheral artery disease), and to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke in high-risk patients. Plavix can help lower the chance of a serious heart or blood vessel issue that could lead to death. Unfortunately, Plavix has also been linked to serious side-effects including life-threatening blood clots.
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Plavix Side Effects
First approved in 1998, clopidogrel is produced by Sanofi-Aventis. Plavix is one of the top-selling drugs in the world and is regarded as one of the most effective heart medications by the World Health Organization.
Clopidogrel works by preventing blood platelets from sticking together and forming a blood clot, which oftentimes leads to serious heart complications.
- Joint pain
- Nose bleeds
- Unexpected bleeding
- Blood in urine
- Coughing up blood
- Bruising from unknown causes
- Red or black stools
- Plavix and Blood Clots
Despite being heralded as an effective treatment for stroke and heart attacks, Plavix can cause serious injuries and potentially fatal conditions, including serious blood clotting after just two weeks of treatment. Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) is when blood clots form in the blood vessels anywhere in the body. If not treated immediately, the condition can cause death. Symptoms of this dangerous side effect include:
- Purple spots on the skin or mouth
- Tiredness and weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Speech changes
- Vision changes
Plavix and Severe Drug Interactions
There are several drugs that have an adverse effect when taken with Plavix.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) — when these drugs are administered with Plavix, the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding is increased.
Warfarin — when Plavix, an anti-coagulant, is taken with warfarin, another blood thinner, there is an increased risk of bleeding.
Omeprazole — drugs such as Prilosec (omeprazole) and Nexium (esomeprazole) can reduce the effectiveness of Plavix’s anti-clotting effects. This reaction puts patients who rely on the blood-thinning properties of Plavix to prevent potentially deadly blood clots from occurring.
FDA Issues Black Box Warning for Plavix
In 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration added a black box warning on Plavix’s label warning of the risk posed to poor metabolizers of Plavix. According to the FDA, some people do not effectively metabolize clopidogrel, which means they may not receive the full blood-thinning benefits of heart medication.
The FDA urges physicians to consider alternative anti-platelet medications or different dosing strategies to address this issue if it arises. In order for Plavix to work, certain enzymes in the liver must convert the drug to its active form. In these patients, Plavix is less effective and is unable to properly prevent heart attacks, stroke, and cardiovascular death.
Plavix Injuries and When to Contact an Attorney
Contact a physician immediately if you are taking Plavix and experience any of the serious symptoms listed above. Plavix can cause serious and potentially deadly side effects. Our experienced pharmaceutical drug injury lawyers are available to hear your claim 24/7, nights and weekends. We have the resources and experience to take on the pharmaceutical giants. Let us help you recover the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.