Last Edited: April 16th, 2012

Coupons for Plavix

Medication is often a necessary part of maintaining a healthy body. When it comes to the health of the blood, many doctors might prescribe Plavix as a potential solution to blood clotting problems or risks. Understanding what the medication does, how it helps and the potential side effects is the key to determining if it is time to discuss the drug with a doctor.

What is Plavix?

Plavix, which is also called clopidogrel, is a prescription medication that doctors might suggest for heart or blood vessel conditions. The medication is designed to help reduce blood clots in the body by making platelets less sticky and thus reduces the risk of getting a heart attack.

In most cases, Plavix is prescribed after a heart attack or stroke occurs, though some doctors might also provide the medication to patients who are considered at risk of a heart attack or stroke as well. Since it helps reduce the formation of blood clots, it can help reduce the risk of suffering from problems relating to clotting.

Risk of Bleeding

Due to the reduced clotting that comes with taking Plavix, one of the most common risks associated with the medication is the risk of bleeding. Cuts, bruises and other similar injuries will typically bleed longer before the blood is able to coagulate and stop the bleeding.

Internal bleeding will sometimes occur as well. The stomach and intestines are particularly prone to bleeding and signs of bleeding in these areas include bloody or black stool, vomiting blood or vomiting hardened black chunks that look similar to coffee grounds.

If signs of internal bleeding occur, it is important to call a doctor immediately about the problem. Anyone who is taking Plavix should not take any type of NSAID medication like Aspirin because it can increase the risk of internal bleeding and the potential problems relating to bleeding from cuts.

Due to the increased risk of bleeding, anyone who is planning any type of surgery, including a dental procedure like getting teeth pulled, should inform the doctor or dentist of the medication beforehand. In many cases, doctors will suggest stopping the medication for a certain time period before the actual surgery.

Other Potential Side Effects

While bleeding is the most common side effect, understanding the other potential problems that might occur is a key part of getting help when it is necessary. Plavix is a prescription medication and thus has a few key side effects that might impact the body.

Ill-feelings of a wide range are often reported as a side effect. In many cases patients will experience nausea, sweating and even chest and shoulder pain that results in feeling sick or ill.

Numbness on one side of the body will sometimes occur while taking the medication. This varies by individual and sometimes will include only partial numbness while other individuals will notice numbness throughout the body.

Some individuals will have confusion, speech problems, headaches and issues with balance as a result of the medication.

Itchiness will sometimes occur and is usually a mild symptom. In most cases, itchiness will fade within a few days.

Anytime side effects continue, worsen or are serious, it is important to seek medical attention.

Pregnancy Consideration

Plavix is not known to cause problems with a pregnancy, though it might cause excessive bleeding at the birth. Women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant should discuss the situation with a doctor. Plavix is not recommended for women who are breastfeeding because the impact on a nursing baby is unknown.

Plavix is a useful medication for those who have problems with clotting or are at risk of developing blood clots. It is not for everyone and a doctor will need to run regular tests to avoid complications.