In the case of the prescription drug Plavix, uses of the medication may involve the prevention of harmful blood clots in people who have had a recent heart attack, a stroke, or severe chest pain requiring hospitalization. Plavix is also used to help relieve pain in people with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Plavix uses may also include "off-label" uses, such as preventing the formation of a harmful clot following certain procedures.
Plavix® (clopidogrel bisulfate) has been licensed to help prevent harmful blood clots from forming in people who have:
- Had a recent heart attack
- Had a recent stroke
- Severe leg pain due to a condition called peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Been hospitalized with chest pain from unstable angina or have had a certain type of heart attack. These conditions are often known as acute coronary syndrome.
Plavix has been proven in large clinical trials to reduce the risk of future harmful blood clots forming in people who have had a recent heart attack. Plavix is often used in combination with other medications to further reduce the risk of another heart attack. These often include cholesterol-lowering medications, aspirin, and blood pressure medications.
Plavix has been proven in clinical trials to reduce the risk of having another stroke. When harmful clots block blood vessels and decrease the blood supply to the brain, this is called an ischemic stroke. Plavix helps prevent this from reoccurring. However, Plavix is not useful in patients with a type of stroke called a hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by bleeding into the brain.