Plavix Side Effects

by on December 22, 2011


Plavix (Clopidogrel) is a medication that prevents the blood from clotting. Therefore, the side effects of Plavix are generally related to excess bleeding. Minor bleeding and bruising are the most common. Serious bleeding in many forms can be a side effect as well. Though these issues are relatively uncommon, bleeding on Plavix can indicate a more serious problem, so a doctor should always be consulted immediately.

Common Plavix Side Effects

plavix The most common side effects of Plavix include:

  • Easy bruising
  • Minor bleeding
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or indigestion
  • Flu-like symptoms

In general, these side effects are not a cause for concern. If they become severe or are particularly uncomfortable to the individual, a doctor can be consulted to alter the medication. Though bleeding can be a normal Plavix side effect, it can also indicate a more serious problem. For this reason, all bleeding should be reported to a doctor. Patients should never stop taking Plavix abruptly without consulting their physician.

Serious Plavix Side Effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects while taking Plavix you should consult a doctor immediately. These side effects can indicate a serious problem and must be addressed as soon as possible.

  • Tarry black stools
  • Dark or bloody urine
  • Noticeable change in the amount of urine
  • Chest pain
  • Yellowing skin or eyes
  • Bleeding in the eye
  • Bloody nose
  • Change in vision
  • Confusion
  • Speech problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever or chills
  • Seizures
  • Severe headaches
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Excessive bleeding of any kind
  • Unusual red or purple bruising or bruises that progressively get bigger
  • Rash or itching skin
  • Excessive tiredness or weakness
  • Stomach pain
  • Back pain
  • Vomiting of blood or a coffee ground-like substance
  • Coughing up blood

Plavix is a blood thinner that is designed to reduce the chance of blood clots. However, this also means that Plavix side effects can include excessive or dangerous bleeding in various parts of the body that may not adequately clot and stop.

If you notice side effects that are associated with blood anywhere in the body, from excessive menstrual bleeding to a dark color in your stool, urine, mucus or vomit, you should consider this a warning sign to contact to your doctor. Strange bruising can be indicative of blood pooling the beneath the skin, so you should be aware of side effects associated with skin discoloration as well.

These side effects may indicate a serious condition known as Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpua, or TTP. Patients with TTP experience dangerous blood clots in the vessels. TTP should be treated immediately, so consult a doctor as soon as you notice these Plavix side effects to avoid further complications.

When you experience these side effects, you should not cease taking the drug, however. Stopping Plavix abruptly can cause a dangerous blood clot resulting in a heart attack, stroke or even death. Consult your doctor about the Plavix side effects you are experiencing before you decide to stop or change the drug in any way.

If you are experiencing an allergic reaction to this medication, your side effects may include the following:

  • Tightness of the chest and/or difficulty breathing
  • Rash or hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling, especially around the face and mouth
  • Unusual hoarseness

In the event of an allergic reaction, you should visit a doctor or emergency room immediately. Plavix contains clopidogrel. If you are allergic to this ingredient or other similar medications, inform your doctor before you begin this treatment to avoid these dangerous side effects.

You must always inform all doctors and dentists that you are taking Plavix (clopidogrel) before having any kind of medical procedure. If the doctor or dentist is unaware of this fact, you may suffer side effects related to severe and dangerous blood loss during the procedure. You may be advised to stop taking Plavix for several days before your surgery to avoid excessive bleeding during the operation.

Plavix is not intended for use on children, pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding.  If you have liver or kidney disease, bleeding from a stomach ulcer, recent injuries or have had surgery recently, Plavix is not for you at this time.