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Your body must convert clopidogrel to an active form before it can start treating your disease. Clopidogrel does not convert to its active form in the body in all individuals as well as it does in others. Some individuals may be more susceptible to a heart attack or stroke since the drug does not work as well in them. To determine who has problems converting clopidogrel to its active form, tests are available. If you think you ought to get tested, discuss this with your doctor. Your doctor may adjust your clopidogrel dosage or advise you to stop taking it if it is discovered that you have trouble converting clopidogrel to its active form.
When you start taking clopidogrel and every time you refill your prescription, your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet (Medication Guide). If you have any questions, thoroughly read the material, then consult your physician or pharmacist. The Medication Guide is also available on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer’s website.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking clopidogrel.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Those who have experienced a stroke, heart attack, or significant chest discomfort are prescribed clopidogrel, either alone or in combination with aspirin, to prevent serious or life-threatening issues with their heart and blood arteries. This includes patients who have undergone percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI; also known as angioplasty; a type of cardiac surgery) that may involve placing coronary stents (metal tubes surgically inserted in obstructed blood channels to enhance blood flow) or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG; a type of heart surgery). Those with peripheral artery disease can also take clopidogrel to avoid major or life-threatening issues with their hearts and blood vessels (poor circulation in the blood vessels that supply blood to the legs). The class of drugs known as antiplatelet medicines includes clopidogrel. It functions by stopping platelets, a kind of blood cell, from clumping together and producing clots that could result in a heart attack or stroke.
How should this medicine be used?
An oral pill is available for clopidogrel. Typically, it is taken once day, with or without food. Take clopidogrel every day at roughly the same time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Take clopidogrel as prescribed by your doctor. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.
Only while you are taking clopidogrel will it help you avoid significant issues with your heart and blood vessels. Even if you are feeling good, keep taking clopidogrel. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking clopidogrel. If you stop taking clopidogrel, your chance of having a heart attack or stroke increases. If you stop taking clopidogrel too soon after getting a stent, there is also a larger chance that a blood clot will form in the stent.
Other uses for this medicine
When someone has atrial fibrillation, clopidogrel may also be used to prevent blood clots (a condition in which the heart beats irregularly). Discuss the potential dangers of using this medicine to treat your disease with your doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug may be recommended for another purpose.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking clopidogrel,
- If you have an allergy to clopidogrel, prasugrel (Effient), ticlopidine, any other drugs, or any of the ingredients in clopidogrel tablets, inform your doctor and pharmacist right away. For a list of the ingredients, consult the Medication Guide or speak with your pharmacist.
- Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use. Incorporate any of the following: Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), cilostazol, esomeprazole (Nexium), etravirine (Intelence), omeprazole (Prilosec, Prilosec OTC, Zegerid); codeine (in Triacin-C, Tuzistra XR, and other opiates) or hydrocodone (Hycodan, Tussicaps) for coughing, or codeine (in Fioricet, Trezix) or fentanyl (in Fioricet, Trezix) for pain (Actiq, Duragesic, Subsys, others), meperidine (Demerol), morphine (Duramorph, Kadian), hydrocodone (Hysingla, Zohydro, in Anexsia, in Norco), or oxycodone (in Percocet, in Roxicet, and other medications); repaglinide (Prandin, in Prandimet); selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) include citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, and sertraline. Selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) include desvenlafaxine (Khedezla, Pristiq), duloxetine, sibutramine (no longer available in the United States; Meridia) (Effexor). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
- Inform your doctor if you experience significant bleeding from a bleeding ulcer (sores in the lining of the stomach or small intestine that are bleeding), a brain haemorrhage, or any other illness. Your physician might advise against taking clopidogrel.
- If you have recently been injured, have liver or kidney disease, or any other condition that may cause bleeding, such as stomach issues like ulcers, let your doctor know.
- Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking clopidogrel.
- You should let your doctor or dentist know that you are taking clopidogrel if you are having surgery, including dental surgery. For at least five days before to your operation, your doctor may advise you to stop taking clopidogrel in order to prevent severe bleeding. After your procedure, your doctor will advise you when to resume taking clopidogrel.
- You should be aware that taking clopidogrel may cause you to bleed more frequently or for a longer period of time than usual. Avoid cutting or injuring yourself while taking clopidogrel.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
There may be negative effects from clopidogrel. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Extreme fatigue
- Abdominal pain
Certain adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Breathing or swallowing challenges
- Swelling of the lower legs, hands, feet, ankles, or face, neck, tongue, lips, eyes, or mouth
- Seats that are dark and tarry
- Blood in the faeces, red
- Bloody poop
- Poop that resembles coffee grounds
- Uncommon bruising or bleeding
- Brown or pink urine
- Slow or challenging speech
- An arm or a leg that is weak or numb
- Alterations to vision
- Breathing difficulty
- Rapid heart rate
- Light skin
- Bleeding or purple areas on the skin
- Eyes or skin that have a yellow tint
Further negative effects of clopidogrel are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
Overdose signs could include the following:
- Significant bruising or bleeding
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.