Clopidogrel

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Information about Clopidogrel

Clopidogrel is an inhibitor of platelet aggregation that is used to decrease the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke in patients known to have atherosclerosis. 

Liver safety of Clopidogrel

Clopidogrel has been linked to rare instances of idiosyncratic, clinically apparent acute liver injury.

Mechanism of action of Clopidogrel

Clopidogrel (kloe pid' oh grel) is an inhibitor of adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-induced platelet aggregation and is used widely to decrease the risk of myocardial infarction and stoke in patients who have documented coronary or cerebrovascular disease or previous heart attack or stroke.  Activated platelets release ADP which binds to platelet receptors, causing activation of intracellular glycoprotein IIb/IIIA complex which triggers platelet adherence and aggregation.  The aggregation of platelets plays an important role in the growth of atheromatous plaques, which can lead to coronary, cerebral and peripheral arterial occlusions.  In large clinical trials, clopidogrel therapy has been shown to decrease the frequency of recurrence of myocardial infarction and stroke. 

FDA approval information for Clopidogrel

Clopidogrel was approved for use in the United States in 1997 and is widely used, with more than 1.5 million prescriptions filled yearly. 

Clinical use of Clopidogrel

Current indications include reduction of atherosclerotic events (myocardial infarction, stroke, vascular death) in patients with documented atherosclerosis and in patients with acute myocardial infarction or unstable angina. 

Dosage and administration for Clopidogrel

Clopidogrel is available in 75 mg tablets generically and under the brand name of Plavix.  The usual dose is 75 mg daily, sometimes with a loading dose of 300 mg on day one. 

Side effects of Clopidogrel

Side effects are not common, but can include headache, dizziness, fatigue, gastrointestinal upset, nausea, arthralgias and rash.


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