- Understanding Stroke Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Stroke Quiz
- Atrial Fibrillation Slideshow: Causes, Tests and Treatment
- Aspirin vs. Plavix (clopidogrel) quick comparison of differences
- What is aspirin? What is Plavix (clopidogrel)? Are they the same?
- What are the uses for aspirin and Plavix? Can they be taken together?
- What are the differences between side effects of aspirin vs. Plavix?
- What are the differences between the dosage of aspirin vs. Plavix?
- What are the drug interactions of aspirin vs. Plavix?
- Are aspirin or Plavix safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Aspirin vs. Plavix (clopidogrel) quick comparison of differences
- Aspirin and Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate) are drugs used to prevent blood clots.
- Aspirin and Plavix belong to different drug classes. Plavix is an anticoagulant and aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
- Aspirin also is used to reduce fever, and to treat pain and inflammation in the body.
- Side effects of Plavix and aspirin that are similar include:
- Abdominal pain/burning sensation/cramping, and liver damage or failure.
- Side effects of Plavix that are different from aspirin include:
- Side effects of aspirin that are different from Plavix include:
- Aspirin and Plavix are more effective when taken together, but it increases the risk of bleeding.
- Brand names for aspirin include Bayer and Ecotrin. Aspirin is available over-the-counter (OTC) and in generic form.
What is aspirin? What is Plavix (clopidogrel)? Are they the same?
What is aspirin? How does it work?
Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat fever, pain, and inflammation in the body. It also prevents blood clots and is used to prevent heart attack and stroke. Other NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Aleve, Motrin), indomethacin (Indocin), and nabumetone (Relafen).
NSAIDs block the enzyme that makes prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase), resulting in lower concentrations of prostaglandins, and reducing levels of inflammation, pain, and fever. Inhibition of prostaglandins also reduces the function of platelets and the ability of blood to clot. Aspirin inhibits the function of platelets in a manner different from other NSAIDs and its antithrombotic effects last longer than other NSAIDs.
What is Plavix? How does it work?
Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate) is an anti-platelet drug used to prevent blood clots. Plavix is used to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, particularly in people with a recent history of stroke or heart attack, and those with peripheral vascular disease.
Plavix works by binding to the P2Y12 receptor on platelets, preventing adenosine diphosphate (ADP) from activating platelets. It belongs to a class of drugs called P2Y12 inhibitors. Other P2Y12 inhibitors include ticagrelor (Brilinta) and prasugrel (Effient). Clopidogrel is similar to ticlopidine (Ticlid) in chemical structure and in the way it works.
What are the uses for aspirin and Plavix? Can they be taken together?
Aspirin is used for the treatment of inflammation, fever, and pain due to from many forms of arthritis, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Reiter's syndrome
- Soft tissue injuries, such as tendinitis and bursitis
Aspirin also is used for rapid relief of mild to moderate pain and fever in other inflammatory conditions. Because aspirin inhibits the function of platelets for prolonged periods, it is used for reducing the risk of another stroke or heart attack in people who have already had a stroke or heart attack.
The combination of clopidogrel and aspirin is better than aspirin or clopidogrel alone in preventing another heart attack but the risk of bleeding is higher.
What are the differences between side effects of aspirin vs. Plavix?
Aspirin side effects
Most people benefit from aspirin and other NSAIDs with few side effects. However, serious side effects can occur and generally tend to be dose-related. Therefore, it is advisable to use the lowest effective dose to minimize side effects.
The most common side effects of aspirin involve the gastrointestinal system and ringing in the ears.
Gastrointestinal side effects of aspirin
- Abdominal burning
- Serious gastrointestinal bleeding
- Liver toxicity
The daily dose of aspirin should be reduced if you have ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
Other side effects of aspirin include:
Other side effects and adverse reactions of aspirin
- People with peptic ulcers or poor kidney function should avoid taking aspirin since it can aggravate both conditions.
- Aspirin may exacerbate asthma.
- Aspirin can raise the blood uric acid level and is avoided in patients with hyperuricemia and gout.
- Children and teenagers should avoid aspirin for symptoms of the flu or chickenpox because of the associated risk of Reye's syndrome, a serious disease of the liver and nervous system that can lead to coma and death.
- Aspirin can increase the effect of medicines used to treat diabetes mellitus, resulting in abnormally low blood sugars if blood sugar levels are not monitored.
NSAIDs should be discontinued prior to elective surgery because of a mild tendency to interfere with blood clotting. Aspirin, because of its prolonged effect on platelets, is best discontinued at least ten to fourteen days in advance of the procedure.
Plavix side effects
The tolerability of clopidogrel is similar to that of aspirin. Common side effects of clopidogrel are:
Side effects of Plavix that are more serious include:
- Severe bleeding
- Allergic reactions
- Liver failure
Ticlopidine (Ticlid) is an antiplatelet medication quite similar to clopidogrel. It has been associated with a severe reduction in white blood cell count in between 0.8% and 1% of persons. The risk of this dangerous side effect with clopidogrel is about 0.04%, much less than with ticlopidine but twice that of aspirin.
Clopidogrel rarely causes a condition called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) in one out of every 250,000 people. TTP is a serious condition in which blood clots form throughout the body. Blood platelets, which participate in clotting, are consumed, and the result can be bleeding because enough platelets are no longer left to allow blood to clot normally. For comparison, the related drug, ticlopidine (Ticlid), causes TTP 17-50 times more frequently than clopidogrel.
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What are the differences between the dosage of aspirin vs. Plavix?
- You should take aspirin with food. Doses range from 50 mg to 6000 mg daily depending on the use.
- Usual doses for mild to moderate pain are 350 or 650 mg every 4 hours or 500 mg every 6 hours.
- Doses for rheumatoid arthritis include 500 mg every 4-6 hours; 650 mg every 4 hours; 1000 mg every 4-6 hours; 1950 mg twice daily.
- Heart attacks are prevented with 75, 81, 162, or 325 mg daily.
- 160 to 325 mg of non-enteric coated aspirin should be chewed immediately when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.
- The dose for preventing another stroke is 75 to 100 mg daily.
- Clopidogrel bisulfate usually is taken once daily.
- Plavix can be taken with or without food.
- Clopidogrel is activated by enzymes in the liver to its active form. People who have reduced activity of liver enzymes that activate clopidogrel due to liver disease may not respond adequately to clopidogrel. Alternative treatments should be used for these patients.
- The recommended dose for treating unstable angina or heart attack is 300 mg initially followed by 75 mg daily in combination with 75-325 mg of aspirin.
- Peripheral arterial disease or recent stroke is treated with 75 mg daily.
What are the drug interactions of aspirin vs. Plavix?
Aspirin drug interactions
Aspirin is associated with several suspected or probable interactions that affect the action of other drugs. Examples of the most common of the suspected interactions include:
- NSAIDs may increase the blood levels of lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) by reducing the excretion of lithium by the kidneys. Increased levels of lithium may lead to lithium toxicity.
- Aspirin may reduce the blood pressure lowering effects of blood pressure medications. This may occur because prostaglandins have a role in the regulation of blood pressure.
- When aspirin is used in combination with methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) or aminoglycoside antibiotics (for example, gentamicin) the blood levels of the methotrexate or aminoglycoside may increase, presumably because their elimination from the body is reduced. This may lead to more methotrexate or aminoglycoside-related side effects.
Individuals taking oral blood thinners or anticoagulants, for example, warfarin, (Coumadin) should avoid aspirin because aspirin also thins the blood, and excessive blood thinning may lead to serious bleeding.
Plavix drug interactions
- The combination of clopidogrel with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin increase the risk of stomach and intestinal bleeding. Other NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), diclofenac (Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), nabumetone (Relafen), fenoprofen (Nalfon), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis, Oruvail), oxaprozin (Daypro), piroxicam (Feldene), sulindac (Clinoril), tolmetin (Tolectin), and mefenamic acid (Ponstel) may increase the risk of stomach and intestinal bleeding.
- Combining clopidogrel with warfarin (Coumadin) or other drugs that cause bleeding increases the risk of bleeding.
- Clopidogrel is converted to its active form by enzymes in the liver. Drugs that reduce the activity of these enzymes, for example, omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid) or esomeprazole (Nexium) may reduce the activity of clopidogrel and should not be used with clopidogrel. Other drugs that also may react with clopidogrel in a similar fashion include fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), cimetidine (Tagamet), fluconazole (Diflucan), ketoconazole (Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric), voriconazole (Vfend), ethaverine (Ethatab, Ethavex), felbamate (Felbatol), and fluvoxamine (Luvox).
Are aspirin or Plavix safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Aspirin is generally avoided during pregnancy because it may adversely effect the fetus. However, low aspirin doses have been safely used for the prevention of complications of pregnancy.
- Aspirin is excreted into breast milk and may cause adverse effects in the infant.
- There are no adequate studies of clopidogrel in pregnant women.
- Studies in rats have shown that clopidogrel appears in breast milk; however, it is not known whether it also appears in human breast milk. Because of a potential for side effects in the nursing infant, the physician must weigh the potential benefits and possible risks before prescribing clopidogrel to nursing mothers.
Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and Plavix (clopidogreal) is an antiplatelet drug. Both aspirin and Plavix are used to prevent blood clots, which reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks, and future strokes and heart attacks in people who have already had one. Aspirin and Plavix can be taken at the same time, but it increases the risk of GI (gastrointestinal) bleeding.
Abdominal pain or cramping and liver damage or failure are similar side effects of taking aspirin or Plavix. Aspirin may cause side effects that are different from Plavix, and include tinnitus (ringing in the ears), gastritis, nausea, GI ulcers or bleeding. pancreatitis, chest pain, rash, itching and liver toxicity. Side effects of Plavix that do not occur with aspirin include diarrhea, rash, chest pain, headache, muscle aches, and dizziness. Severe side effects of Plavix are severe bleeding, allergic reactions, and pancreatitis.
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The heart is a very important organ in the body. It is responsible for continuously pumping oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout your body to sustain life. It is a fist-sized muscle that beats (expands and contracts) 100,000 times per day, pumping a total of five or six quarts of blood each minute, or about 2,000 gallons per day.
Heart Attack Symptoms and Early Warning Signs
Recognizing heart attack symptoms and signs can help save your life or that of someone you love. Some heart attack symptoms, including left arm pain and chest pain, are well known but other, more nonspecific symptoms may be associated with a heart attack. Nausea, vomiting, malaise, indigestion, sweating, shortness of breath, and fatigue may signal a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms and signs in women may differ from those in men.
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding (hemorrhagic). Symptoms of a stroke may include: weakness, numbness, double vision or vision loss, confusion, vertigo, difficulty speaking or understanding speech. A physical exam, imaging tests, neurological exam, and blood tests may be used to diagnose a stroke. Treatment may include administration of clot-busting drugs, supportive care, and in some instances, neurosurgery. The risk of stroke can be reduced by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stopping smoking.
Stroke vs. Mini-Stroke (TIA) Differences
A stroke or "brain attack" occurs when a blood clot or artery ruptures within the brain. The rupture or clot causes brain cell damage or death. A mini-stroke (TIA, transient ischemic attack) is caused by brain cells that dysfunctional over a short period. Stroke and mini-stroke warning signs of stroke and mini stroke are the same, and include, speech problems, weakness, numbness, and facial droop. Side effects of stroke may be permanent and you may never regain full function of the parts of the body affected. Mini-stroke side effects usually resolve within minutes to a couple of days. A transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke) is a precursor for stroke because 40% of individuals who have a mini-stroke will have a stroke within a year. Treatment of stroke depends upon the type and parts of the body affected.
Early Warning Signs and Symptoms of Stroke (FAST)
Stroke is a serious medical condition. If you think you or someone you know is having a stroke call 911 immediately. There are two main types of strokes, hemorrhagic and ischemic (the most common type). A hemorrhagic stroke occurs due to a blood vessel rupture in the brain. An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot becomes lodged in a blood vessel in the brain, which causes a loss of blood supply to the brain, possibly causing brain tissue death. FAST is an acronym that helps people identify stroke signs and symptoms so they can act fast and call 911. Face drooping, Arm weakness, and Speech difficulty are indicators that a person may be having a stroke and it is Time to seek emergency medical treatment. Additional signs and symptoms of stroke may include weakness, difficulty walking, blurred vision, dizziness, headache, confusion, difficulty speaking, and loss of sensation. Stroke is a major cause of death and disability in the U.S. Early identification and treatment of stroke helps reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to diseases of the blood vessels (arteries and veins) located outside the heart and brain. While there are many causes of peripheral vascular disease, doctors commonly use the term peripheral vascular disease to refer to peripheral artery disease (peripheral arterial disease, PAD), a condition that develops when the arteries that supply blood to the internal organs, arms, and legs become completely or partially blocked as a result of atherosclerosis. Peripheral artery disease symptoms include intermittent leg pain while walking, leg pain at rest, numbness in the legs or feet, and poor wound healing in the legs or feet. Treatment for peripheral artery disease include lifestyle measures, medication, angioplasty, and surgery.
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Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke)
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Migraine and Stroke (Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment)
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Stress Management Techniques
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Heart Attack Treatment
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Heart Attacks in Women
Heart disease, particularly coronary artery disease is the leading cause of heart attacks. Women are more likely to die from a heart attack than men. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and high triglycerides are contributors to heart disease. Some of the common symptoms of a heart attack in women include chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, feeling faint or woozy, and more. Heart disease can be prevented by lifestyle changes and controlling high blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and diseases such as diabetes.
Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management. Symptoms of heart attack in men and women include chest discomfort and pain in the shoulder, neck, jaw, stomach, or back. Women experience the same symptoms as men; however, they also may experience: Extreme fatigue Pain in the upper abdomen Dizziness Fainting Leading a healthy lifestyle with a heart healthy low-fat diet, and exercise can help prevent heart disease and heart attack.
Smoking and Heart Disease
Smoking increases the risk of heart disease in women and men. Nicotine in cigarettes decrease oxygen to the heart, increases blood pressure, blood clots, and damages coronary arteries. Learn how to quit smoking today, to prolong your life.
Heart Disease Treatment in Women
Heart disease treatment in women should take into account female-specific guidelines that were developed by the American Heart Association. Risk factors and symptoms of heart disease in women differ from those in men. Treatment may include lifestyle modification (diet, exercise, weight management, smoking cessation, stress reduction), medications, percutaneous intervention procedure (PCI), and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Heart disease is reversible with treatment.
Job Stress and Your Health
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Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, Bayer, Ecotrin, and others)
- clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix)
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Aspirin vs. NSAIDs (Side Effect and Use Differences)
- Drug Interactions
- Ibuprofen and Plavix (Side Effects and Interactions)
- Coumadin vs. Plavix (Differences and Similarities)
- Aspirin Therapy (Guidelines for Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention)
- clopidogrel (Plavix) vs. heparin (Hemochron)
Prevention & Wellness
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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.