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The downside of Plavix

The downside of Plavix

| On 24, Feb 2015

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If Plavix means nothing to you, skip this article. However, if you have a family history of heart disease/stroke, you might want to pay attention to a drug commonly prescribed to prevent blood from clotting.

Top image: Avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis on long flights – https://www.jal.co.jp/en/health/flying/

It concerns me because I have Atrial Fibrillation (AF – abnormal heart rhythm) and was initially put on aspirin to thin blood and statins to lower bad cholesterol which I produce in abundance. Unfortunately, aspirin gives me severe gastric pains and so I was switched to a generic clopidogrel. Plavix is the branded clopidogrel, so any bad news about Plavix is of interest to me.

Image: http://bit.ly/1mDzEyJ

blood clot

What you need to know is that clopidogrel or Plavix, manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb, is an anti-platelet drug that works by thinning your blood and making it less likely to clot. It is promoted for the prevention of strokes and heart attacks. As AF sufferers are at five times the risk of stroke as normal people, I have no choice but to take my blood thinners. In fact, my cardiologist has warned me that he intends to put me on Warfarin in a few years. He’s that worried about the possibility of stroke.

Warfarin is another scary drug, but back to Plavix. Dr Mercola on his site warns of nasty effects from Plavix when taken with aspirin. Thankfully, I only take one.

 “After a study, patients were told to stop taking Plavix and take aspirin only, as it became apparent the Plavix-aspirin regimen significantly increased the risk of death. The combination also doubled the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, and more than doubled fatal hemorrhaging. Previous studies have also demonstrated that Plavix patients have a higher rate of stomach ulcers.”

Image: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/keep-calm-and-take-your-medicine/

keep-calm-and-take-your-medicine

So, how, as we say on our sunny isle? Just keep calm, take our meds, and monitor. Awareness helps us watch for potential problems, so we can inform our doctors. But not taking medicine will surely lead to even more serious trouble.

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