Clopidogrel is used to prevent heart attacks and strokes in persons with heart disease (recent heart attack), recent stroke, or blood circulation disease (peripheral vascular disease).
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).
Clopidogrel works by blocking platelets from sticking together and prevents them from forming harmful clots. It is an antiplatelet drug. It helps keep blood flowing smoothly in your body.
Easy bleeding/bruising, stomach upset/pain, diarrhea, and constipation may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
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, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the 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: 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.
Before taking clopidogrel, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to similar antiplatelet drugs (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).
To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
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 at least 5 days before surgery. Do not stop taking clopidogrel without talking with your heart doctor (cardiologist) first.
This medicine may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol while using this medicine may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcoholic beverages. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about how much alcohol you may safely drink.
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.
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