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Clopidogrel

Clopidogrel, commonly known by the brand name Plavix, is an antiplatelet medication that prevents blood clots in patients with cardiovascular diseases.

Last Modified: 21 May 2024

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Overview

What is Clopidogrel? 

Clopidogrel, commonly known by the brand name Plavix, is an antiplatelet medication that prevents blood clots in patients with cardiovascular diseases. It works by inhibiting the aggregation of platelets, essential components for blood clot formation. 

Clopidogrel is a thienopyridine compound, synthesized through complex organic chemistry processes that introduce a specific configuration to target platelet receptors effectively. 

Global Name

Generic Names: Clopidogrel  

Hong Kong available brands: Clopidogrel 

Global Brand Names: Plavix, Clopid, Clopivas 


Usage

What is Clopidogrel used for? 

Clopidogrel is used to: 

  • Prevent strokes and heart attacks in patients with cardiovascular disease. 
  • Treat peripheral artery disease. 
  • Prevent blood clots after a recent heart attack or stroke. 
  • Prevent blood clots in patients with stents. 

How do you use Clopidogrel? 

Availability:

Clopidogrel is available in tablet form. 

Dosage information: 

  • The standard dose for adults: 75 mg once daily. 
  • Loading dose for acute coronary syndrome (ACS): 300 mg or 600 mg initially as directed by a physician. 
  • Children: Not commonly prescribed to children. 
  • Adults: Suitable for the prevention of thrombotic events. 
  • Elderlies: No dosage adjustment necessary in the elderly, but use with caution. 

Suitability: 

  • Children: No established treatment protocols for use in infants and children as more research is currently warranted. 
  • Adults: Those with active bleeding or a history of hypersensitivity to the drug should not use it. 
  • Elderlies: Appropriate for use, but with careful consideration of overall health status. 
  • Pregnancy and Lactation: It should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus or infant. 
  • Allergies: Patients allergic to clopidogrel or any component of the formulation should avoid taking this medication.
      

Any warnings and precautions : 
Clopidogrel should be used with caution in patients at risk for bleeding, such as those with recent trauma, surgery, or gastrointestinal bleeding. It should also be discontinued several days prior to planned surgery to reduce the risk of bleeding. As a prodrug (needs enzymatic conversion to its active form in the body mainly in the liver) certain individuals known as “poor metabolizers may express variant genes for the enzyme and thus have lower circulating levels of the drug and experience more side effects. 

Interactions: 
Clopidogrel should not be used with certain medications that induce bleeding or affect platelet function. It may interact with NSAIDs, warfarin, SSRIs, and proton pump inhibitors, among others. 

Side Effects

Common side effects include bleeding more easily, bruising, and gastrointestinal discomfort. Severe side effects may involve significant bleeding, including internal bleeding. 

Pharmacist Tips

  • Medication Adherence: Consistently take Clopidogrel as directed by your healthcare provider, preferably at the same time each day, to maintain its antiplatelet effects. 
  • Monitoring: Periodic blood tests may be required to monitor your response to Clopidogrel and check for any signs of bleeding. 
  • Inform Your Healthcare Providers: Always inform medical personnel that you are taking Clopidogrel, as it can significantly affect bleeding risk and treatment plans, especially before any surgical procedures. 
  • Interaction Awareness: Discuss all your current medications with your pharmacist to ensure that there are no harmful interactions with Clopidogrel. 
  • Side Effect Management: If you experience any unusual bleeding or bruising, contact your healthcare provider immediately. 
  • Storage Information: Store Clopidogrel at room temperature, protect it from moisture, and keep it out of reach of children. 
  • Disposal of Unused Medication: Do not dispose of unused Clopidogrel in household trash. Ask your pharmacist about medication take-back programs. 

Availability

Where is Clopidogrel available in Hong Kong?

Clopidogrel is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers.

FAQs

Can Clopidogrel be taken with aspirin?

Sometimes, Clopidogrel is prescribed with aspirin for certain heart conditions after consulting with a healthcare provider. 

How long does it take for Clopidogrel to work?

Clopidogrel starts inhibiting platelets within hours of the first dose; however, its full effect may take several days. 

Is Clopidogrel available for purchase over the counter?

No, Clopidogrel is a prescription medication and must be prescribed by a healthcare provider. 

 

Disclaimer
This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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