- 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.
Latest Heart News
Daily Health News
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.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Stroke Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Stroke Quiz to learn about stroke risks, causes, treatment, and most importantly, prevention....
Salt Quiz: Test Your Diet IQ
Do you love salt? Take the online Salt Quiz to get the facts about dietary salts and sodium in fruits, vegetables, processed...
Heart Disease Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take our Heart Disease Quiz to get answers and facts about high cholesterol, atherosclerosis prevention, and the causes,...
Picture of Peripheral Vascular Disease
Diabetes also affects the blood vessels and alters the flow of blood. See a picture of Peripheral Vascular Disease and learn more...
Picture of Heart Detail
The heart is composed of specialized cardiac muscle, and it is four-chambered, with a right atrium and ventricle, and an...
Picture of Heart
The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. See a picture of the Heart and learn more...
Heart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes
What is heart disease (coronary artery disease)? Learn about the causes of heart disease. Symptoms of heart disease include chest...
Lower Your Cholesterol, Save Your Heart
Need to lower your cholesterol levels? Use these smart diet tips to quickly and easily lower your blood cholesterol levels....
Diet for Stress Management: Carbs, Nuts, and Other Stress-Relief Foods
While there are many ways to cope with stress, one strategy is to eat stress-fighting foods. Find out which foods to eat as part...
Vegetarian Diet: Tasty, Basic Choices in Pictures
Thinking about becoming a vegetarian? Compared to the general population, the typical vegetarian has a lower body mass index...
Heart-Healthy Diet: 25 Foods to Protect Your Cardiovascular System
See 25 foods loaded with heart-healthy nutrients that help protect your cardiovascular system. Plus, find easy meal/recipes and...
Exercise Tips for Seniors
Exercise for seniors is important for healthy and successful aging. Learn what happens to our bodies as we age, how to start...
Stroke Causes, Symptoms, and Recovery
What is a stroke? Learn about stroke symptoms like sudden numbness or weakness, confusion, vision problems, or problems with...
Diet-Wrecking Foods: Smoothies, Lattes, Popcorn, and More in Pictures
It may seem healthy, but is it really? Many food frauds masquerade as diet food. See 23 foods that seem healthy but can be...
Heart Disease: Causes of a Heart Attack
Learn about heart disease and heart attack symptoms and signs of a heart attack in men and women. Read about heart disease...
The Benefits of Omega 3 Foods on Heart Health
What are the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids? Learn how Omega 3 rich foods like fish oil, salmon, walnuts, & more can boost brain...
Am I Having a Heart Attack? Symptoms of Heart Disease
Heart attacks symptoms vary greatly for men and women, from anxiety and fatigue to nausea and sweating. Learn the warning signs...
Long Life in Pictures: Tips on Sleep, Diet, and More
Did you know making friends can help you live longer? Our experts explore ways to increase your longevity such as making friends,...
Food Cravings Slideshow: Chocolate, Carbs, Salt, Sugar
Learn which food cravings can wreck your diet. Whether your craving something creamy or crunchy, sweet or salty, food cravings...
Heart Health Pictures: How to Lower Triglycerides
Learn 14 ways to lower triglycerides. Learn to keep your heart healthy and triglyceride levels in check with these diet,...
12 Reasons to Love the Mediterranean Diet in Pictures
The Mediterranean diet is a delicious way to eat healthy. We show you how to get the most from this diet with foods like olive...
Food Swaps for Meals and Snacks for Heart Health in Pictures
Explore 10 food swaps for heart-wise dining. Learn what food to buy and how to cook in order to make a big difference for your...
Related Disease Conditions
A heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart...
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However,...
Stroke (Signs, Symptoms, Warning Signs)
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Treatments)
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to diseases of the blood vessels (arteries and veins) located outside the heart and...
Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management....
Stroke is the third leading killer in the United States. Some of the warning signs of stroke include sudden confusion, trouble...
12 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,...
Heart Attack Pathology: Photo Essay
A heart attack is a layperson's term for a sudden blockage of a coronary artery. This photo essay includes graphics, pictures,...
Job Stress and Your Health
Early warning signs of job stress include headache, sleep disturbance, difficulty in concentrating, short temper, upset stomach,...
Stress and Heart Disease
The connection between stress and heart disease is not clear. Stress itself may be a risk factor, or high levels of stress may...
How the Heart Works
The heart is a very important organ in the body. It is responsible for continuously pumping oxygen and nutrient-rich blood...
Fitness: Exercise for a Healthy Heart
Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease. To achieve maximum benefits, do a mix of stretching exercise, aerobic...
Stress Management Techniques
Stress may be considered as any physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental unrest and that may be a...
Heart Attack Treatment
A heart attack involves damage or death of part of the heart muscle due to a blood clot. The aim of heart attack treatment is to...
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke)
When a portion of the brain loses blood supply, through a blood clot or embolus, a transient ischemic attack (TIA, mini-stroke)...
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to...
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...
Smoking and Heart Disease
Smoking increases the risk of heart disease in women and men. Nicotine in cigarettes decrease oxygen to the heart, increases...
Heart Disease in Women
Heart disease in women has somewhat different symptoms, risk factors, and treatment compared to heart disease in men. Many women...
Heart Disease Treatment in Women
Heart disease treatment in women should take into account female-specific guidelines that were developed by the American Heart...
14 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....
Stroke vs Aneurysm (Differences and Similarities)
A stroke or "brain attack" is caused because blood flow to an area of the brain has been cut off by a blood clot or by a weakened...
Heart Attack vs. Stroke Symptoms, Differences, and Similarities
Heart attack usually is caused by a clot that stops blood flow supplying oxygen to an area of heart muscle, which results in...
Heart Attack vs. Heartburn (Differences between Symptoms and Signs)
Heartburn is a symptom of another disease or medical problem and can be described as a feeling of burning in the chest...
Stroke vs. Mini-Stroke (TIA)
A stroke or "brain attack" occurs when a blood clot or artery ruptures within the brain. The rupture or clot causes...
Migraine and Stroke (Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment)
Migraine headache is a type of headache in which the exact cause is not known; however, they may be inherited, and certain...
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Treatment Drugs
Atrial fibrillation (also called Afib or Afib) is heart rhythm disorder that causes irregular, and often, a rapid heartbeat. The...
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, Bayer, Ecotrin, and others)
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Drug Interactions
- Aspirin Therapy (Guidelines for Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention)
- Aspirin vs. NSAIDs (Side Effect and Use Differences)
- Coumadin vs. Plavix (Differences and Similarities)
- Ibuprofen and Plavix (Side Effects and Interactions)
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.