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Clopidogrel

(Clo-PIH-da-grel)

For the prevention of heart attack and stroke

Disclaimer

The content on this page is not medical advice and should be used for informational purposes only. Always consult your health care provider or pharmacist to determine what medication and dosage are right for you.

Last updatedJuly 27, 2021

Clopidogrel

Clopidogrel is an antiplatelet medication used to prevent blood clots from forming. This reduces the risk for heart attack and stroke.

It is for people who have had a stroke, severe chest pain, or heart attack, and for people who are at risk for these conditions.

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Generic name

Clopidogrel bisulfate
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Rx or OTC

Available by prescription only.

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Black box warning

Clopidogrel may be less effective in people who are poor metabolizers of the enzyme CYP2C19. Genetic tests are available to determine if you are a slow metabolizer. If you are, other medications should be used instead.

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When & How

  • Take 75 mg with or without food once daily by mouth.
  • If you are in the hospital for a heart attack or stroke, you may be given a one-time higher dose, followed by the daily 75 mg dose the next day.
  • The dose and length of treatment depend on your specific medical condition and your response to the medication.
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Do’s

  • Take daily exactly as prescribed.
  • Take aspirin (75-325 mg) along with clopidogrel if your doctor tells you to.
  • Limit alcohol consumption as this could increase your risk of stomach bleeding.
  • Call your doctor if you notice any signs of bleeding, such as in your stool or urine.
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Don’ts

  • Avoid drinking more than 2-3 cups of grapefruit juice a day while taking clopidogrel as it can reduce its effectiveness.
  • Do not stop taking clopidogrel without discussing it with your doctor.
  • Do not double your dose if you miss a dose. If a dose is missed, take it when you remember, but if it is close to the time of your next dose, skip the previous dose.
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Discuss with your doctor

  • Tests are available to check if you are a poor metabolizer. Clopidogrel may be less effective in poor CYP2C19 metabolizers.
  • If you show any signs of bleeding in your stool or urine.
  • If you have any allergies to clopidogrel or similar antiplatelet medications.
  • If you have any history of conditions that can lead to bleeding, such as liver disease, hemophilia, stomach ulcers, etc.
  • If you are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking clopidogrel before having any major or invasive procedures.
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What is Clopidogrel?

Clopidogrel is an antiplatelet medication that works by preventing platelets (clotting cells) in the blood from sticking together and forming a clot. Blood clots are a major cause of heart attack and stroke.

Clopidogrel is given to people who have had a heart attack, severe chest pain, or stroke to reduce the risk of another stroke or heart attack.

It is also for people at high risk of these cardiovascular events to reduce their chances of having them.

Clopidogrel is available as prescription only.

Clopidogrel dosages
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Tablets

  • 75 mg
  • 300 mg

Similar drugs to Clopidogrel

  • Brilinta (ticagrelor)
  • Effient (prasugrel)
  • Dipyridamole
  • Aggrenox (dipyridamole/aspirin)

Side effects

Disclaimer

Medications may affect individuals differently. Usage of any medication may include side effects and other interactions. Here is a list of known common side effects and interactions. This list is not exhaustive -- there may be other side effects or interactions for this medication that are not listed here. In some cases, the likelihood of side effects or interactions may increase depending on dosage. It’s important to keep in mind that in extreme cases, other serious side effects, even death, may occur. Always consult your health care provider or pharmacist to determine what medication and dosage is right for you.

Minor bleeding

5% of people experience minor bleeding

Major bleeding

4% of people experience major bleeding

Full list of side effects

  • Bleeding
  • Bruise
  • Nosebleed
  • Pustules
  • Liver failure
  • Loss of taste
  • Swelling under the skin
  • Bone marrow damage
  • Joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • Bronchospasm
  • Bullous rash
  • Colon inflammation
  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea
  • Duodenal ulcer
  • Eczema
  • Eosinophilic pneumonia
  • Skin lesions
  • Erythematous rash
  • Exfoliative dermatitis
  • Fever
  • Gastric ulcer
  • Hallucination
  • Headache
  • Hemophilia A (acquired)
  • Hepatitis (noninfectious)
  • Hypotension
  • Insulin autoimmune syndrome
  • Interstitial pneumonitis
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Skin inflammation
  • Maculopapular rash
  • Muscle pain
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pancytopenia
  • Itching
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Mouth sores
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (rare blood disorder)
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis (serious skin condition)
  • Hives
  • Vasculitis (blood vessel inflammation)

Long-term complications

  • Bleeding, sometimes fatal bleeding.
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a rare blood disorder.
  • Bruising will occur more easily and bleeding will be more difficult to stop while taking clopidogrel.

Safety notes

  • If you are undergoing any major surgery or procedure, discuss with your doctor whether you need to stop clopidogrel 5 days before your procedure.
  • Clopidogrel increases your risk of bleeding.
  • In rare cases, clopidogrel may cause thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a rare potentially fatal blood disorder.
  • Allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling.

Clopidogrel interactions

Disclaimer

Medications may affect individuals differently. Usage of any medication may include side effects and other interactions. Here is a list of known common side effects and interactions. This list is not exhaustive -- there may be other side effects or interactions for this medication that are not listed here. In some cases, the likelihood of side effects or interactions may increase depending on dosage. It’s important to keep in mind that in extreme cases, other serious side effects, even death, may occur. Always consult your health care provider or pharmacist to determine what medication and dosage is right for you.

Tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medications or supplements

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Can lead to increased risk of stomach bleeding
  • Warfarin and any other antiplatelet or anti-clotting medication: Can increase the risk of bleeding]

Clopidogrel may increase the effect of these drugs:

  • Rosuvastatin
  • Bupropion

CYP2C19 inhibitors, such as the following medications can reduce the effect of clopidogrel:

  • Omeprazole (Prilosec)
  • Pantoprazole (Protonix)
  • Lansoprazole (Prevacid)

Other reactions:

  • Certain herbs (e.g., alfalfa, anise, bilberry) may enhance the effect of clopidogrel leading to bleeding.
  • Grapefruit juice may decrease the effect of clopidogrel.

Tell your doctor if you have any of these pre-existing conditions

  • TTP (thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura)
  • Rare blood disorders
  • Diseases that make you more prone to bleeding, such as a history of stomach ulcers

Clopidogrel pricing

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