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Clopidogrel (By mouth)

Helps prevent stroke, heart attack, and other heart problems. This medicine is a platelet inhibitor.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Clopidogrel is used alone or together with aspirin to lessen the chance of a heart attack or stroke. It is given to patients who have already had a heart attack, severe chest pain, or a stroke, or to patients with other circulation problems that could cause a stroke or heart attack. A heart attack or stroke may occur when a blood vessel is blocked by a blood clot. Clopidogrel is a platelet Read more
Brand names include
Plavix
Drug classes About this
Platelet Aggregation Inhibitor

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Clopidogrel plus aspirin versus aspirin alone for preventing cardiovascular disease

Low‐dose aspirin as antiplatelet therapy is still the drug of choice for preventing cardiovascular events, but the protection aspirin gives to people at high risk of cardiovascular events is only relatively modest. This review of 28,165 people in two trials where clopidogrel was given in addition to antiplatelet treatment found that in patients with acute coronary syndromes the benefit ‐ a reduction in cardiovascular events ‐ outweighs the harm of major bleeding. However, clopidogrel plus aspirin has no clear positive risk‐benefit profile in people at high risk of cardiovascular events (multiple atherothrombotic risk factors) or in people with established cardiovascular disease (known coronary disease, ischemic cerebrovascular disease or peripheral arterial disease) but not presenting with an acute coronary syndrome, and the combination should not be prescribed routinely to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Clopidogrel versus acetylsalicylic acid for the secondary prevention of vascular diseases: Executive Summary A04-01A

The aims of this evaluation were: - the comparative evaluation of the benefits and harms of clopidogrel and ASA as antiplatelet monotherapy for secondary prevention in patients with manifest ischaemic heart disease (IHD), ischaemic cerebrovascular disease (ICVD), or symptomatic peripheral arterial disease (PAD). and - the specific comparative evaluation of benefits and harms of a switch in therapy to clopidogrel versus continuation of existing ASA therapy for secondary prevention (as described above) in patients who had previously suffered an adverse event during ASA therapy (in particular a thromboembolic event or severe bleeding).

Clopidogrel plus acetylsalicylic acid in acute coronary syndrome: Executive summary of final report A04-01B, Version 1.0

The aim of this research was to assess the benefit of clopidogrel plus ASA combination therapy versus ASA monotherapy in patients with acute coronary syndrome (acute coronary syndrome without ST-segment elevation [NSTE-ACS] or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction [STEMI]). The focus of the assessment was on patient-relevant therapy goals.

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Summaries for consumers

Clopidogrel plus aspirin versus aspirin alone for preventing cardiovascular disease

Low‐dose aspirin as antiplatelet therapy is still the drug of choice for preventing cardiovascular events, but the protection aspirin gives to people at high risk of cardiovascular events is only relatively modest. This review of 28,165 people in two trials where clopidogrel was given in addition to antiplatelet treatment found that in patients with acute coronary syndromes the benefit ‐ a reduction in cardiovascular events ‐ outweighs the harm of major bleeding. However, clopidogrel plus aspirin has no clear positive risk‐benefit profile in people at high risk of cardiovascular events (multiple atherothrombotic risk factors) or in people with established cardiovascular disease (known coronary disease, ischemic cerebrovascular disease or peripheral arterial disease) but not presenting with an acute coronary syndrome, and the combination should not be prescribed routinely to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Medication for the long-term treatment of coronary artery disease

The long-term treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD) mainly involves taking medication. Various medications can relieve the symptoms and lower the risk of complications.In order to prevent the development of related medical conditions, all people who have coronary artery disease (CAD) are advised to take two types of medication: Antiplatelets to prevent blood clots, and statins to protect the blood vessels.Beta blockers are sometimes taken too, to reduce the heart's workload, particularly in people who have heart failure or high blood pressure.Good-quality studies have proven that these medications can lower the risk of complications such as heart attacks or strokes. People who have certain other medical conditions too may take other medications such as ACE inhibitors. But even the very best treatment with medications will offer only limited protection from heart disease.All medications can have side effects. Yet it is often possible to avoid them by adjusting the dose or by choosing a different medication in the same group of drugs. The side effects often go away after a while too, once the body has got used to the medication.The risk of side effects may increase when two or more medications are taken together, because they may interact. It is therefore important to tell your doctor what medication you are already taking.Generally speaking, the more risk factors someone has, the more likely it is that he or she will benefit from medication. The important thing is to continue to take your medication and to take it regularly – its protective effect lasts only as long as it is taken.

Comparing Newer Antiplatelet Agents

How do antiplatelet agents compare in acute coronary syndromes managed medically?

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