It is also used with aspirin to treat new/worsening chest pain (new heart attack, unstable angina) and to keep blood vessels open and prevent blood clots after certain procedures (such as cardiac stent).
It works by blocking certain blood cells called platelets and prevents them from forming harmful blood clots. This "anti-platelet" effect helps keep blood flowing smoothly in your body.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking clopidogrel and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day.
Dosage and duration of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If you are taking this medication to prevent clots after a stent implant or other procedure, take this medication with aspirin for many months to years after the procedure (depending on the procedure/type of stent) as directed by your doctor. Consult your doctor for more details and the risks of stopping early. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Get medical help right away if you have any signs that this medication is not working, such as symptoms of a new heart attack or stroke (such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, confusion).
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Although unlikely, serious bleeding in the stomach, gut, eyes, or brain may occur. Also, clopidogrel can rarely cause a very serious blood disorder (thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura-TTP). Symptoms may appear any time after starting this medication. Get medical help right away if any of these symptoms occur: severe stomach/abdominal pain, uncontrolled bleeding from gums or nose, bloody/black stools, confusion, fever, extreme skin paleness, purple skin patches, fainting, fast heartbeat, sudden severe headache, unusual weakness/tiredness, vomit with blood or that looks like coffee grounds, slurred speech, vision changes, seizures, yellowing eyes/skin, bloody/red/pink/dark urine, change in amount of urine.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: severe rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking clopidogrel, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other thienopyridines (such as prasugrel); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: bleeding conditions (such as stomach ulcers, bleeding in the brain/eye), recent surgery, serious injury/trauma, liver disease, bleeding disease (such as hemophilia).
While you are taking this medication, it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop if you have a cut or injury. Use caution with sharp objects like safety razors or nail cutters and avoid activities such as contact sports to lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Your doctor may instruct you to stop clopidogrel for 5 to 7 days before surgery. Do not stop taking clopidogrel without talking with your heart doctor (cardiologist) first.
Limit alcoholic beverages. Daily use of alcohol, especially when combined with this medicine, may increase your risk for stomach bleeding.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If you are currently taking aspirin, consult your doctor promptly and ask whether to continue or stop taking it with this medication for your specific condition (aspirin and clopidogrel may be used in combination after a coronary stent procedure, or for some heart conditions). If you are not currently taking aspirin, consult your doctor before starting it for any medical condition.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: tipranavir, antidepressants (such as amitriptyline, clomipramine, SSRIs including paroxetine/citalopram, SNRIs including duloxetine/venlafaxine).
Some medications may cause clopidogrel to not work as well. Examples include certain acid reducers (proton pump inhibitors/PPIs such as omeprazole, esomeprazole), fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, cimetidine, fluconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole, etravirine, felbamate and ticlopidine, among others. Promptly ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Do not use non-prescription medications that contain PPIs (such as omeprazole, esomeprazole) or cimetidine for relief of upset stomach or heartburn. These medications can prevent clopidogrel from working well. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about safer alternatives such as liquid antacids, ranitidine, or famotidine.
Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many contain pain relievers/fever reducers (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin) which can increase the risk of bleeding/anti-platelet effect when used with clopidogrel. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as complete blood count) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is less than 12 hours before your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised October 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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