Plavix clopidogrel vs Coumadin warfarin Anti-clotting Medications

Plavix clopidogrel vs Coumadin warfarin Anti-clotting Medications

Plavix vs. Coumadin

Plavix (clopidogrel) is an anti-platelet drug used to prevent strokes, heart attacks, and death in high-risk patients. It works by preventing blood clots. Plavix belongs to the P2Y12 inhibitor drug class, which also includes ticagrelor (Brilinta) and prasugrel (Effient).

Coumadin (warfarin) is an anticoagulant used to prevent blood clot formation. It works by reducing the production of clotting factors in the liver. Coumadin is used to treat various conditions, including deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, atrial fibrillation, artificial heart valves, and after a heart attack.

QUESTION

What are the side effects of clopidogrel and warfarin?

Clopidogrel

The common side effects of clopidogrel include diarrhea, rash, itching, abdominal pain, headache, chest pain, muscle aches, and dizziness. Severe bleeding, allergic reactions, pancreatitis, and liver failure are rare side effects.

Ticlopidine (Ticlid), a similar medication to clopidogrel, has a higher risk of side effects compared to clopidogrel.

Warfarin

The two most serious side effects of warfarin are bleeding and necrosis (gangrene) of the skin. Bleeding can occur in any organ or tissue and can cause various symptoms depending on the location of the bleeding. Other side effects include purple, painful toes, rash, hair loss, bloating, diarrhea, and jaundice.

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What is the dosage of clopidogrel vs. warfarin?

Clopidogrel

Clopidogrel is usually taken once daily. The recommended dose for treating unstable angina or heart attack is 300 mg initially followed by 75 mg daily. Peripheral arterial disease or recent stroke is treated with 75 mg daily.

Warfarin

  • Warfarin may be taken with or without food.
  • Dosages need to be adjusted based on frequent blood tests (INR test).
  • Patients typically require 2 to 10 mg of warfarin daily.

What drugs interact with clopidogrel and warfarin?

Clopidogrel

Combining clopidogrel with warfarin or other drugs that cause bleeding increases the risk of bleeding. Certain drugs can reduce the activity of clopidogrel, so their concomitant use should be avoided.

Warfarin

  • Many drugs can affect the anticoagulant action of warfarin or increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Patients on warfarin should consult their doctor before taking any new medications.
  • Several drugs can either increase or decrease the effect of warfarin.

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Are clopidogrel and warfarin safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Clopidogrel should be used with caution in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Warfarin should be avoided by pregnant women due to potential birth defects and fetal bleeding. There is no evidence suggesting that warfarin is secreted in breast milk.

Summary

Plavix (clopidogrel) and Coumadin (warfarin) are blood thinners used to prevent blood clots. Common side effects of both medications include increased bleeding, rash, and diarrhea.

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