Plavix, a form of Clopidogrel, is generally used to prevent heart attacks or strokes. Doctors will generally prescribe this medication to patients who are at greater risk for these problems. Because of what Plavix does, it is occasionally used for patients with other various heart conditions.
Plavix works by preventing blood clots. Blood clots are the cause of certain types of heart attack. They may also cause strokes when they make their way to the brain. Since Plavix prevents clotting of the blood, it can thus help prevent these issues.
One factor that comes into play for those on Plavix is that it only works while the patient is on it. Even if the person taking it feels better or goes a long time without a heart attack or stroke, he or she must keep taking it. It is a maintenance drug in that way.
There are some side effects that users of Plavix need to be aware of. They range from some that are very serious to others that are minor and fairly easy to deal with. In terms of some of the more common but less serious side effects, users may experience fatigue, mild headaches, or even some nose bleeding early on in their experience taking Plavix. If the symptoms persist, though, the doctor may be called on to treat these side effects.
On the other hand, there are some sever side effect that must be monitored due to the anti-clotting nature of the drug. These include but are certainly not limited to under the skin bleeding, bloody vomit or stool, shortness of breath, swelling of the face or extremities, numbness, or loss of vision. Patients experiencing any of these or other severe symptoms would need to contact their doctor or emergency medical care immediately.
Finally, Plavix is generally given in pill form. Most prescriptions call for it to be taking once daily. Patients may take it with or without food, however; patients are generally encouraged to take the medication at the same time every day. This will help the levels in the body to stay consistent. Routine also makes it less likely that a patient will miss a dose or take two doses too closely to one another.
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