Research has found that users of Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate), a popular blood-thinner, are more likely to experience serious, life-threatening side effects, including internal bleeding, cerebral bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, heart attack, stroke, ulcers, brain hemorrhages, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpora (TTP), and death.
UPDATE: Bleeding Risk Increases When Common Painkillers Mixed with Blood-Thinners
November 18, 2014 — Combining common painkillers with blood-thinning drugs could significantly increase the risk of bleeding and blood clots for people with atrial fibrillation. Click here to read more.
November 17, 2014 — The FDA has issued a Safety Communication after the New England Journal of Medicine published a study linking the long-term use of Plavix in patients with coronary stents to an increased risk of bleeding and death, but a lower risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. Click here to read more.
June 20, 2012 — More than 80 new lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of Plavix (clopidogrel) in the last few weeks. Plaintiffs are arguing that they were not warned about the risk of severe side effects, such as gastrointestinal bleeding. Furthermore, they argue that they were misled into believing that Plavix was more effective than aspirin, when in fact they are equally effective, but Plavix is more expensive and has more side effects. Experts believe that there could be hundreds or thousands more potential Plavix lawsuits that have yet to be filed.
SAFETY UPDATE: Bleeding Study
Do you use Plavix and aspirin? You should be aware that if you combine these two medications, it doubles your risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or death — even if you have no history of heart disease.
A National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke suddenly ended its clinical study of nearly 3,000 people taking blood-thinning medications to prevent strokes — preliminary findings showed that combining Plavix with aspirin significantly increased the risk of bleeding, cardiovascular injury, and death. The risk of bleeding was more than twice as high.
These figures caused the study to end prematurely:
- 6.5% of Plavix patients who also used aspirin had a serious bleeding event — just 3.3% of aspirin-only patients had a similar event.
- 5.8% of Plavix patients who also used aspirin died, compared with 4.1% for aspirin-only patients.
A report in The Wall Street Journal quoted Walter Koreoshetz, deputy director of the study: “For stroke … the combination does not offer any protection, but does put you at increased risk for bleeding.”
What is the problem?
Plavix is the second most popular prescription medication in the U.S., after Lipitor, a drug manufactured by Pfizer, which is used to lower cholesterol. Plavix received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 2007 as a preventative treatment for blood clots associated with stroke, and since then, it has been extremely profitable for its manufacturers, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Sanofi SA. Global sales topped $8.8 billion last year.
- The misleading advertisements were the subject of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter. One quote from the letter to Plavix manufacturers states that the ads were “misleading because they make representations and/or suggestions about the efficacy of Plavix, but fail to communicate any risk information associated with the use of this drug.” Plavix actually has serious risks, including death.
- A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that people who combined Plavix and several popular drugs (Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, or Aciphex, to name a few) were re-admitted to the hospital for emergencies because the drug-combination made Plavix significantly less effective.
- A research study published recently by the New England Journal of Medicine linked the use of Plavix to a much higher risk of developing ulcers — Plavix-users are 12 times more likely to suffer from the following side effects: recurrent ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, and cerebral bleeding. These findings compared Plavix to a combination of aspirin and a heartburn drug.
Plavix Side Effects
Serious side effects include:
- Internal Bleeding
- Gastrointestinal Bleeding
- Cerebral Bleeding or Hemorrhage
- Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP)
- Bone Marrow Damage
- Heart attack