Clopidogrel

Pronounced (kloh pid’ oh grel)
Brand Names:  Plavix®

Why is Clopidogrel Prescribed?

Clopidogrel is used alone or with aspirin to prevent serious or life-threatening problems with the heart and blood vessels in those who have had a stroke, heart attack, or severe chest pain. Clopidogrel is also used to prevent serious or life-threatening problems with the heart and blood vessels in those who have peripheral arterial disease (poor circulation in the blood vessels that supply blood to the legs).

How Does Clopidogrel Work?

Clopidogrel is in a class of medications called antiplatelet medications. It works by preventing platelets (a type of blood cell) from collecting and forming clots that may cause a heart attack or stroke.

Common Side Effects of Clopidogrel

Clopidogrel may cause side effects. Tell your healthcare provider if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nosebleed
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Hoarseness
  • Black and tarry stools
  • Red blood in stools
  • Bloody vomit
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Pink or brown urine
  • Slow or difficult speech
  • Weakness or numbness of an arm or a leg
  • Changes in vision
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fast heartbeatPale skin
  • Purple patches or bleeding under the skin
  • confusion
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Seizures

More About Clopidogrel

When being prescribed any new medication, always inform your provider of all medications you are taking, including vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements, to avoid possible drug interactions.