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Clopidogrel

Why is this medication prescribed?

Clopidogrel is used to reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack. It works by preventing excessive blood clotting.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Clopidogrel comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken once a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take clopidogrel exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Continue to take clopidogrel even if you feel well. Do not stop taking clopidogrel without talking to your doctor.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking clopidogrel,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to clopidogrel or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); aspirin; fluvastatin (Lescol); ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin); medications for arthritis, pain, or headaches; naproxen (Naprosyn); phenytoin (Dilantin); tamoxifen (Nolvadex); ticlopidine (Ticlid); tolbutamide (Orinase); torsemide (Demadex); and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver or kidney disease; any stomach problems, ulcers; any other gastrointestinal disease; or any bleeding or blood disorders.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking clopidogrel, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking clopidogrel.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from clopidogrel are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • upset stomach
  • fatigue, muscle aches (flu-like symptoms)
  • stomach pain
  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • rash or purple areas on skin

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • chest pain
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • bloody vomit
  • dark urine
  • bloody diarrhea or black, tarry stools
  • fever
  • confusion or coma
  • yellowness of the skin or eyes
  • blood in the urine

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to clopidogrel.

Clopidogrel prevents blood from clotting so it may take longer than usual for you to stop bleeding if you are cut or injured. Avoid activities that have a high risk of causing injury. Call your doctor if bleeding is unusual.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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