August 31, 2014
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Drug Factsheets

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Plavix

(clopidogrel)

DIN (Drug Identification Number)

02238682 PLAVIX 75MG TABLET
02330555 PLAVIX 300MG TABLET

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Every 10 minutes on average, a Canadian has a stroke. Could you be next? There are many things that increase your risk of a stroke (called stroke risk factors).


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Some people may have other risk factors for stroke. Talk to your doctor to find out if you're at risk of a stroke, and what you can do to reduce your risk.


To find out your risk of a stroke in the next 10 years, use the stroke risk assessment calculator.

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How does Plavix work? What will it do for me?

Clopidogrel belongs to the class of medications called platelet aggregation inhibitors or antiplatelets. Clopidogrel is used to help prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other circulation problems in people who have atherosclerosis (narrowed blood vessels caused by "hardening of the arteries") and have already experienced at least one atherothrombotic event such as heart attack, stroke, or diagnosed peripheral arterial disease (problems with blood flow in the arteries). It is also used with ASA (acetylsalicylic acid) by people with acute coronary syndrome or atrial fibrillation (a fast, irregular heartbeat).

Normally, platelets help the blood to clot when needed, such as after an injury. When arteries become narrowed by fat deposits (plaques), platelets often clump together in the vessels. Unstable plaques can rupture, leading to additional platelet clumping that can cause a larger blockage of the artery. This further narrows the arteries and increases the chances of heart attack, stroke, or other circulation problems. Clopidogrel reduces the chances of these events by preventing platelets from forming into clumps.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use Plavix?

The recommended adult dose of clopidogrel for most conditions is 75 mg once daily. When used by people with acute coronary syndromes, a 300 mg "loading dose" is initially prescribed. After this, treatment starts with 75 mg of clopidogrel once daily along with ASA once daily.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

Clopidogrel may be taken with or without food.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose within 12 hours of your usual time, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is more than 12 hours, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.





What form(s) does Plavix come in?

75 mg
Each round, pink, biconvex, film-coated tablet, engraved with "75" on one side and "1171" on the other side, contains clopidogrel bisulfate 97.9 mg which provides 75 mg of clopidogrel base. Nonmedicinal ingredients: hydrogenated castor oil, low substituted hydroxypropyl cellulose, mannitol, microcrystalline cellulose, and polyethylene glycol 6000; coating: carnauba wax, hypromellose, lactose, red iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and triacetin.

300 mg
Each oblong, pink, film-coated tablet, engraved with "300" on one side and "1332" on the other side, contains clopidogrel bisulfate 391.5 mg which provides 300 mg of clopidogrel base. Nonmedicinal ingredients: hydrogenated castor oil, low substituted hydroxypropyl cellulose, mannitol, microcrystalline cellulose, and polyethylene glycol 6000; coating: carnauba wax, hypromellose, lactose, red iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and triacetin.

Who should NOT take Plavix?

Do not take clopidogrel if you:

  • are allergic to clopidogrel or any ingredients of the medication
  • have an active bleeding condition such as a stomach ulcer or a brain hemorrhage
  • have significant liver disease or cholestatic jaundice

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