Plavix (clopidogrel) is an anti-clotting drug, commonly referred to as a “blood thinner”, used to help prevent heart attack and stroke. However, Plavix can actually cause heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening health problems including gastrointestinal bleeding and bone marrow failure.

Plavix Uses

Plavix help prevent the formation of blood clots by preventing the platelets in the blood from sticking together. It is used alone or in combination with aspirin.

It is typically prescribed alone to people who have recently had a heart attack or stroke, to prevent recurrence. It is also prescribed alone to treat peripheral artery disease (poor circulation in the legs).

Plavix is given in combination with aspirin to treat patients with acute coronary syndrome, including those with heart attack and heart-related chest pain.

Plavix is sometimes given off-label to prevent the formation of blood clots after medical procedures, such as non-emergency stenting and in by-pass procedures if the patient is allergic to aspirin.

Plavix Dangers

Plavix can have serious or deadly side effects including:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Internal bleeding
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Bone marrow failure
  • Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP)
  • Ulcer

In TTP, blood clots form in the small blood vessels of the body. TTP is a medical emergency and can be fatal.

Stroke Prevention Trial Halted Early

In 2011, part of a trial sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) was halted early when a review of the data found alarmingly high rate of bleeding events in subjects taking a combination of Plavix and aspirin.

The trial was comparing the use of Plavix and aspirin together vs. aspirin alone in the prevention of stroke in patients who had already suffered a recent stroke.

The review found a 6.5% rate of bleeding events in the group receiving the Plavix combination, which was nearly double the rate in those taking aspirin alone.

If you have been injured by Plavix, or if you have lost a loved one who was taking Plavix and believe the drug may be to blame, you may be entitled to compensation. Please find a local Plavix injury attorney and schedule a consultation right away.