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clopidogrel (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking clopidogrel (Plavix)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to clopidogrel, or if you have any active bleeding such as a stomach ulcer or bleeding in the brain (such as from a head injury).

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests:

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether clopidogrel passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking clopidogrel.

How should I take clopidogrel (Plavix)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take this medication with a full glass of water.

Clopidogrel can be taken with or without food.

Because clopidogrel keeps your blood from coagulating (clotting) to prevent unwanted blood clots, it can also make it easier for you to bleed, even from a minor injury. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if you have bleeding that will not stop.

If you need surgery or dental work, tell the surgeon or dentist ahead of time that you are using clopidogrel. You may need to stop using the medicine for at least 5 days before having surgery, to prevent excessive bleeding. Follow your doctor's instructions and start taking clopidogrel again as soon as possible.

Do not stop using clopidogrel without first talking to your doctor. Use clopidogrel regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

To be sure this medicine is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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