Plavix is the name of a drug used for inhibiting platelets. It’s manufactured by Sanofi Aventis of France and Bristol-Meyers Squibb from the United States. It was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late 1997. The actual drug is clopidogrel bisulfate. It’s a prescription medication that’s most commonly used to prevent the formation of dangerous blood clots that might form after recent heart attacks or strokes. Plavix is also prescribed for patients with coronary and peripheral artery disease. It’s one of the top selling drugs in the United States.
Plavix Side Effects
Because Plavix prevents coagulation, a risk of the drug is excessive bleeding, even from a minor cut. Other major side effects might involve:
- Chest pain
- Purple bruising that increases in size
- Blood in feces or urine
- Coughing blood
- Vomiting blood or a substance that looks like coffee grounds
- Heart attacks
Another known side effect of Plavix is thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) which is a coagulation disorder that occurs when small blood clots form in the blood stream and damage organs. TTP can be fatal in up to 20 percent of all cases.
Plavix and Aspirin
Plavix patients have often been told by their doctors to take the drug with aspirin. In 2006, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine was said to have found that there was no added benefit to treating patients with Plavix and aspirin as opposed to aspirin and a placebo. Researchers also found that a subgroup of patients with no heart attack or stroke histories had a moderate to severe risk of bleeding episodes. Their risk of death from a cardiovascular event was 1.7 percent higher than those who were given only placebos.
Plavix and Prilosec
In November of 2009, the FDA issued a warning to Plavix users who also used Prilosec to treat stomach acid and irritation. A combination of the two drugs was found to reduce the effectiveness of Plavix by about 50 percent. Doctors often recommended Prilosec with Plavix because Plavix can cause stomach bleeding. In January of 2005, the New York Times reported of findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine that patients taking Plavix suffered 12 times more ulcers than those who took only aspirin and Prilosec. Patients might have erroneously been prescribed Plavix as it was believed to have lower ulcer rates than aspirin. The study found that 8.6 percent of its Plavix users had a bleeding ulcer within a year as opposed to 0.7 percent of those who used aspirin and Nexium. An aspirin dose is about 200 times less expensive than Plavix.
Most of the lawsuits against Sanofi and Bristol-Meyers Squibb allege needless side effects from a product that appears to be no more effective than simple aspirin. Plavix litigation isn’t simple though. Lawsuits involving Plavix are highly complex, and only certain law firms are qualified to represent Plavix users who claim injuries from its side effects. If you have taken Plavix and suffered any of this blood thinner’s side effects, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation with one of our Drug Injury Lawyers.
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