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Clopidogrel, a Blood Thinning Drug that Can Resist Heart Attacks | Good Doctor

Clopidogrel is an antiplatelet drug or blood thinner. With this drug, your blood can flow along the veins more easily and smoothly.

Taking clopidogrel will help prevent blood clots, especially if you have risk factors that can make these health problems occur.

But remember, yes, this drug can only be consumed based on a doctor’s prescription. The doctor will first check whether you really need to consume the drug.

What is clopidogrel?

Clopidogrel is a blood thinner drug that is generally given to patients with blood clotting problems.

Some blood clots that can be treated with this drug include pain in the chest, peripheral artery disease (poor circulation in the legs), heart attack or even stroke.

How clopidogrel works

As an antiplatelet drug, clopidogrel works by holding platelets from sticking to one another, in this way, blood clots can be prevented. Drugs that work like this are included in the class of platelet inhibitors.

Because of this way of action, clodipogrel is also used with aspirin to treat the occurrence or worsening of chest pain (new heart attack, angina or unstable angina).

Apart from that, their consumption also aims to keep blood vessels open and prevent blood clots after certain medical procedures, such as placing a heart ring.

How to take clopidogrel

The dose that the doctor will give you will really depend on the medical condition you are experiencing.

Usually, the doctor will start by giving a low dose and then adjust it from time to time to reach the right dose for you. In general, the dose will be given as low as possible, but the effect will still be maximum.

This drug is generally available in tablet form with levels of 75 mg and 300 mg.

Dosage for acute coronary syndrome

Adult dosage (ages 18 and over)

The initial dose is generally 300 mg, taken once. Starting treatment without high doses will slow the effect by several days.

for maintenance dose (maintenance dose) usually the dose will be reduced to 75 mg, taken once a day.

Child dosage (ages 0-17 years)

This medicine has not been studied further for giving to children and should not be given to people younger than 18 years of age.

Dosage for heart attacks, recent strokes and peripheral arteries

Adult dosage (ages 18 and over)

For adults the usual dose is 75 mg taken once a day.

Child dosage (ages 0-17 years)

This medicine has not been studied further for giving to children and should not be given to people younger than 18 years of age.

Drug consumption must be according to the dosage


Clopidogrel oral tablet is usually used for long-term treatment. You will be exposed to serious risks if you do not consume it according to the doctor’s prescription.

Warning about abrupt cessation of consumption

If you stop or don’t consume it at all, you will increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. This condition can be fatal.

If you temporarily stopped taking clopidogrel, start taking it again as soon as your doctor tells you to.

If you miss or don’t take it on schedule, the treatment you are running may not work properly. To make clopidogrel work properly, a certain amount of this drug must be present in your body at all times.

If you take too much of this drug, you can have dangerous levels of drug content in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug such as bleeding may occur.

Warning if missed dose of medication

If you miss a dose, for example because you forget, then take this medicine as soon as possible when you remember. If you remember before the time to take your next medicine, just skip the missed dose.

Because you have to take one dose on one schedule. Do not take two doses of clopidogrel at the same time unless your doctor tells you to.

The thing to remember, clopidogrel treatment can be said to be successful if you don’t have a heart attack or stroke.

Clopidogrel side effects

The oral tablet of this drug can cause mild or even serious side effects. Although not all, the following list is the side effects that you can experience as a result of consuming clopidogrel.

Common side effects

Common side effects that usually occur when taking this drug are:

  • Bleeding
  • Itchy skin

If your skin itches due to taking this drug, these effects can disappear in a few days or weeks. But if it doesn’t go away and tends to get worse, you should see a doctor immediately.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects that can occur along with the symptoms are as follows:

  • Serious and life-threatening bleeding. Symptoms include:
    • unexplained bleeding or bleeding that lasts a long time
    • urine that contains blood (urine is pink, red or brown)
    • red or black discharge
    • bruises that occur for no reason or bruises that get bigger
    • coughing up blood or blood clots
    • vomiting blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • A blood clotting disease called thrombotic thormbcytopenic purpura (TTP). This condition can occur after consuming clopidogrel, even when you only consume it for less than two weeks. Symptoms are:
    • purple spots (purpura) on your skin or mouth (mucous membranes) due to bleeding under the skin
    • yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes
    • fatigue or weakness of the body
    • skin that looks pale
    • fever
    • fast heart rate or shortness of breath
    • headache
    • difficulty speaking or understanding verbal language (aphasia)
    • dazed
    • coma
    • strokes
    • seizures
    • small amount of urine, or the urine is pink or blood is present
    • pain in the stomach
    • nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    • loss of sight

Clopidogrel interactions with other drugs

Clopidogrel oral tablet may interact with some other medications. Different drugs, different interaction effects that occur.

For example, some can affect the effectiveness of clopidogrel, and some can increase your risk of side effects.

Therefore, before you take clopidogrel, tell your doctor all medications, vitamins or herbs that you are currently using to avoid drug interactions.

The following list, although not all are mentioned, are some of the drugs that may interact with clopidogrel:

1. Diabetes medication

In most cases, repaglinide should not be taken with clopidogrel. Consuming both can increase the levels of repaglinide in your body.

This condition can cause low blood sugar levels. If you take both, your doctor will carefully adjust the dosage of repaglinide.

2. Stomach acid drugs (proton pump inhibitors)

You should not take clopidogrel with drugs used to counteract stomach acid. Both can make clopidogrel less effective. Examples of these drugs are:

3. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Consumption of both can increase the risk of bleeding in the stomach and intestines. Examples of these drugs are:

4. Blood thinner

Despite having the same function, warfarin, which is also a blood thinner, has a different working principle than clopidogrel. Consumption of both can increase the risk of bleeding.

5. Drugs to treat depression

Taking antidepressants with clopidogrel can increase your bleeding risk. Examples of these drugs are:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin-nonrepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

6. Salicylates (aspirin)

If you have acute coronary syndrome, you should take aspirin with clopidogrel. Even so, these two drugs cannot be taken together if you have just had a stroke, because they can increase the risk of severe bleeding.

7. Opioids

Using opioids with clopidogrel can slow absorption and lower the levels of clopidogrel in your body. So that clopidogrel becomes less effective.

If you have to take these two drugs together, your doctor may prescribe additional medication to help prevent blood clots.

Examples of opioids are:

  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine

Take clopidogrel during pregnancy

There is no data or reporting that says consumption of clopidogrel has an effect on birth defects or miscarriage. However, there is a risk of myocardial infarction and stroke that can occur in pregnant women and the fetus.

Both illnesses are medical emergencies. Treatment using clopidgorel can be done regardless of the risk of the effects of this drug on the fetus, but it all depends on the doctor’s decision.


Treatment near delivery may increase bleeding, avoid neuraxial blockade procedures while using clopidogrel because of the risk of spinal hematoma.

If possible, discontinue 5-7 days before delivery or neuraxial blockade procedure.

Breastfeeding period

It is not known whether clopidogrel passes into breast milk. If so, it can have serious effects on a child who is being breastfed.

In this case, you should consult with your doctor to determine whether you will temporarily stop taking medication or breastfeeding.

Warning about the drug clopidogrel

Heavy bleeding warning

This drug can cause severe bleeding and even be fatal. Clopidogrel can cause rashes and bleeding more easily, causing nosebleeds, and bleeding taking longer to stop.

You should immediately visit a doctor for serious bleeding that you experience, such as:

  • Bleeding without cause, prolonged and excessive
  • Blood in your poop or urine

Warning for surgical procedures

Before having any procedure, you should tell your doctor or dentist if you are taking this medicine. You may have to temporarily stop your medication before the procedure to avoid bleeding.

Allergy warning

Clopidogrel can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat

Do not take this drug again if you suffer from an allergy to this drug. You also shouldn’t consume it if you have an allergy to rhienopyridine category drugs such as ticlopidine and clopidogrel. If you are still reckless, then you will only endanger yourself.

Interaction with alcohol

Do not take this drug with alcohol because mixing the two can increase the risk of bleeding.

Consult your doctor what you need to pay attention to when you are going to take this drug, because some of the side effects can actually cause fatal bleeding.

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