A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to your heart is blocked. The hindered blood supply can be due to the build-up of flat or other substances, known as plaque. 

In some cases, a plaque can rupture or detach to form a clot, which blocks the blood supply to your heart.

Reduced blood supply can destroy or damage a part of the heart muscle. So, immediate medical care is crucial to prevent further damage and other complications.

Antiplatelet medicines such as Clopidogrel prevent clot formation and thus protect you from a heart attack.

Let’s understand more about the condition and how Clopidogrel can help.

What Does A Heart Attack Feel Like? Common Signs And Symptoms

As discussed above, a heart attack occurs when a part of your heart muscle cannot get enough blood. The more time passes without treatment, the greater the damage.

It is thus essential to seek immediate medical care if anyone has the mentioned symptoms:

  • Chest discomfort or pain is the most common symptom
  • The pain or discomfort persists for a few minutes
  • Sensation of squeezing, fullness, pressure, or pain in your chest

Other symptoms may include:

  • Discomfort or pain in the neck, jaw, or back
  • Feeling light-headed or faint
  • Cold sweat
  • Discomfort or pain in shoulders or arm
  • Shortness of breath

How Does Clopidogrel Help Prevent A Heart Attack?

Coronary artery disease is the commonest cause of a heart attack. In this condition, the artery gets narrowed or blocked with a plaque or blood clot.

Clopidogrel belongs to the class of drugs called antiplatelets

Platelets are a type of blood cell, which clump together and help to form a clot. Clopidogrel prevents or reduces the chances of such blood clots by making the platelets less sticky.

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Damaged arteries are at a high risk of clot formation. This is because platelets, a type of blood cells, are attracted towards the site of damage.

Some proteins and platelets form a plug known as a clot. This clot can block the artery. When this happens in a blood vessel supplying the heart, it can cause a heart attack.

Taking Clopidogrel daily prevents platelets from clumping together, preventing the risk of unwanted blood clots

All this aids in protecting from a heart attack.

How And When To Use Clopidogrel?

Here are usual instructions to follow while taking Clopidogrel:

  • Take this medicine orally once a day with or without food or as prescribed by your physician.
  • Take this tablet daily at the same time.
  • Follow all the instructions on the prescription label. 
  • Do not stop taking this medication abruptly without consulting your doctor.
  • Do not take it more or less or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor 
  • Do not stop using it even if you feel well

If You Miss the Dose

  • If you happen to miss a dose of Clopidogrel, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. 
  • However, if it is almost time for the next dose, do not take the missed dose and continue with your next scheduled dose. 
  • Do not take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose. 

Clopidogrel Use And Dosage 

Clopidogrel can be taken once daily, at the same time every day. You can take it with or without food or as advised by your physician.

Dose

The usual dose is 75 mg a day. However, your dose may be different depending on your age, problem, and various other factors. 

So, always consult a doctor before taking Clopidogrel.

Precautions for Clopidogrel use:

You should not take Clopidogrel if you have the following conditions:

  • Liver disorders
  • Medical conditions that may cause bleeding such as stomach ulcer or bleeding within the brain
  • Recent serious injury 
  • Blood disorder that makes you susceptible to internal bleeding
  • Recent surgery (Including dental surgery)
  • Kidney diseases
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Talk to your doctor before taking Clopidogrel if:

  • You are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy. 
  • You are allergic to Clopidogrel or any of its ingredients or have any other allergies.
  • You are allergic to any other medication.
  • You are taking any other drugs, over-the-counter medicines, herbal products, or nutritional supplements.
  • You have had a clot in an artery of your brain (ischaemic stroke), which occurred within the last seven days.
  • You are lactose intolerant.

Besides, certain medicines may interfere with its working and thus might not be safe to take. Some of them are:

This may not be a comprehensive list, and other drugs may interact with Clopidogrel. Please inform your doctor if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Clopidogrel Common Side Effects

Like all other medications, Clopidogrel may cause side effects, although it is unlikely to happen in everyone. It is vital that you are aware of what could be the possible side effects.

Most common side effects:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea 
  • Heartburn or indigestion 
  • Bleeding in the stomach or bowels
  • Bruising
  • Hematoma (unusual bleeding or bruising under the skin)
  • Blood in urine
  • Nose bleed
  • Bleeding in the eye
  •  Bleeding in the head
  • Bleeding in lungs
  • Bleeding in joints

Uncommon side effects:

  • Headache
  • Nausea 
  • Constipation 
  • Excessive bloating of the stomach or intestine 
  • Rashes 
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Itching 
  • A sensation of tingling or numbness

Rare side effects:

  • Vertigo
  • Gynecomastia (enlargement of breasts in males)

Rare side effects:

  • Jaundice 
  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Severe abdominal pain with or without back pain
  • Allergic reactions 
  • Swelling in mouth
  • Joint pain
  • Muscular pain
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations 
  • Decrease in blood pressure 
  • Loss of food taste  

Contact your physician immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Fever
  • Sign of infection or tiredness
  • Liver problems (Yellowing of skin and/or eyes)
  • Bleeding, which may appear as red dots 
  • Swelling in mouth 
  • Skin disorders such as blisters, rashes, or itching 
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This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.

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