Drug Name: Clopidogrel
Clavix, Plavix, Clopilet, Clopitab, Clopivas
Type of drug
Blood thinner. It is an antiplatelet agent.
Mechanism of action
Blocks receptors on the surface of platelets and prevents them from sticking together. This prevents platelets from forming blood clots.
Method of administration
Oral route. It is not available as an intravenous drug, and therefore cannot be injected.
When is it used?
- Heart attacks – Clopidogrel is usually combined with Aspirin.
- After stent insertion – Clopidogrel is given with Aspirin for a period of 6 months to 1 year depending on the type of stent.
- Angina – Clopidogrel is usually combined with Aspirin.
- Stroke – Clopidogrel may be used when Aspirin cannot be used.
- Mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack – TIA) – Clopidogrel may be used when Aspirin cannot be used.
- Clopidogrel is used when patients cannot tolerate Aspirin.
How to take Clopidogrel
It is often prescribed at 75 mg doses once or twice a day. 150 mg tablets are also available. Best taken with water with or after food. Always follow the recommendation and prescription of your doctor.
Possible side effects include –
- Bleeding – This can be from the gums, nose and stomach. Serious bleeding is rare but can occur around the brain. Seek medical attention immediately if you notice bleeding.
- Small bruises may appear on the skin.
Missing a dose
If you have missed a dose, don’t panic. Make sure you take that day’s dose, even if it is later in the day. If you have only realised it the following day, do not take an extra tablet to make up for it.
If you require further information, make sure you speak to you doctor.