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Fast-paced lifestyle causes stress that can lead to serious diseases such as cardiac ailments. There are different drugs to cure and prevent cardiac issues, one of those is Clopidogrel. The drug blocks platelets from sticking together and causing thrombosis in people who have gone through a recent heart attack or severe chest pain (angina).

In this article, we aim to provide the information about the uses, dosage, side effects and precautions for Clopidogrel.

Uses:

Your doctor may prescribe Clopidogrel to you if you are facing any condition such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Peripheral artery disease (the lower limbs’ blood circulation is affected in this condition)
  • Heart attack
  • After an angioplasty
  • After bypass surgery

The drug may be prescribed in combination with Aspirin or on its own, and it works as an antiplatelet. An antiplatelet drug is one which doesn’t let the platelets to form clots (that in turn cause blockade in the cardiac arteries leading to stroke or heart attack).

Dosage:

Clopidogrel comes in two variants. A 300 mg tablet and a 75 mg tablet. There are no other available forms of the medicine. You can only take the medicine through the oral route, and usually only once a day with or without food as per the prescription.

There are different prescriptions for different conditions. In cases of angina and heart attack, your doctor will prescribe a loading dose of 300 mg followed by daily doses of 75 mg upto a year.

If the first loading dose is not administered, the drug will not show the desired effect of controlling the platelets from forming blood clots.

In the case of an angioplasty, if the patient is tolerant to a combination therapy of aspirin and Clopidogrel, they might be prescribed these medicines for more than a year.

Age is another factor to determine the dosage of Clopidogrel. Under 75 years of age, the medicine can be prescribed either individually with a loading 300 mg dose or in a combination of aspirin for long-term antiplatelet therapy.

For patients over 75 years of age, doctors do not recommend the loading dose. They only prescribe 75 mg per day for 14 days or upto a year.

Side Effects:

Clopidogrel may cause the following common side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea

Even though common, if these side effects don’t go away ask for medical advice. There are many other side effects that are not very common, but more severe and threatening as compared to these common side effects. They include:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Swollen face or neck that causes breathing issues
  • Bruising or unusual bleeding
  • Blood in the vomit, stool or urine.

In case of any such side effect, immediately call your doctor for advice and further action.

Precautions:

  • The patients of platelet disorders should be thoroughly tested before prescribing Clopidogrel.
  • The drug should not be abruptly discontinued, instead it should be discontinued in phases.
  • Ask the patients for liver and kidney diseases to avoid any severe outcomes such as an allergic reaction to this drug.