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Richard N. Fogoros, M.D.

Drug-Eluting Stents - How Long on Plavix?

By April 17, 2008

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The importance of taking Plavix (clopidogrel - a drug that helps prevent blood clotting) after receiving drug-eluting stents (DES) has received a lot of attention over the past few years. Not long after DES came into common usage, reports surfaced indicating that there is a long-term risk of sudden occlusion of the coronary artery with these stents, produced by the sudden formation of blood clots at the site of the stent. Sudden blockage of a coronary artery, of course, can have catastrophic results including heart attack and sudden death. The long-term use of Plavix is thought to substantially decrease this risk.

Unfortunately, long-term Plavix therapy is not benign. Indeed, trauma or surgery while on Plavix can have devastating consequences. Some cardiologists refuse to allow their DES patients to stop Plavix even long enough to have elective surgery - placing the patient in an untenable position. So a major remaining question with the use of DES is: How long should Plavix therapy be maintained?

In an extraordinary hearing of the FDA in late 2006, the recommendation was to continue Plavix therapy for at least 12 months after DES. But recognizing that there was little data on which to base this recommendation, a strong plea was made to conduct a randomized clinical trial as rapidly as possible to answer the Plavix question once and for all.

Unfortunately, as reported by Shelley Wood for theHeart.org, nearly a year and a half after this FDA hearing that study is not even close to getting off the ground, let alone yielding useful results. (Wood's report is linked here, but registration is required.) Wood describes continued difficult "negotiations" (some might call it squabbling) between researchers at the Cardiovascular Safety and Research Consortium (located at Duke University), various government agencies, and manufacturers of DES, over the goals, design, size and duration of the proposed study. From the sounds of it, the study that everybody's waiting for won't be providing anything like definitive answers, for many years to come, on how long DES patients need to remain on Plavix.

This means that if your doctor is recommending DES, for the foreseeable future you're still going to need a long talk with your doctor about Plavix - specifically, how long will the doctor want you to take it, and what is to be done if it turns out you need surgery 8 months from now? Unfortunately, it appears the Plavix question will be looming over the use of DES for a long time to come.

April 18, 2008 at 1:11 pm
(1) Garry Newman says:

Thanks for the update. But, you left out the two real reasons why this study has not begun 1)Money – who will pay for it and more Plavix will be sold if there no endpoint recommended and 2)Liability – The drug companies are afraid that the long term effects of Plavix may be negative.

April 19, 2008 at 11:37 pm
(2) Surefire Guy says:

I’m wondering if Plavix can cause major side-effects… My neighbor started taking it and now has blood on the surface of both sides of his face. The dr. says there’s no correlation, but I wonder…

April 21, 2008 at 9:15 am
(3) Chuck says:

I was on Plavix do to DES. Had an minor accident with major, major hematoma in three locations. Normally wouldn’t have even bruised. If I had hit my head, I’d be dead!! Pharmaceuticals are for their own interests; “bottom line $$$”. Took four months for the Plavix to leave my body!!!

April 21, 2008 at 9:24 am
(4) Stan Abrams says:

I just completed one year of using Plavix for DES with no side effects at all. I was also on Coumadin and aspirin for my Atrial Fibrillation.

April 21, 2008 at 11:27 am
(5) Richard says:

This concerns me greatly. I have been on Plavix since 1999. I have had numberous heart attacks and just had stents 8 through 15 installed in November and January. My cardiologists just say there is no answer to how long and, since I have had no side effects that can be attributed to Plavix, we will continue till we know different. I just have to be careful since I understand that any scratches etc will bleed for a while.

April 21, 2008 at 11:46 am
(6) Art in Boston says:

As the proud owner of 12 (yes, twelve) drug-eluting stents, I have not been on plavix for four years, and will continue to be on it indefinately…. I could be my own study! So far so good….


April 21, 2008 at 12:49 pm
(7) Julie says:

I have been on Plavix nearly a year following a sudden cardiac death last June and installation of three DES. My doc says I should be fine, but I am still tired and short of breath. Any thoughts on this? I was down for 20 minutes before I came back.

April 21, 2008 at 4:38 pm
(8) Jeff says:

My first heart attack was in October 2006 and have been on Plavix and Asprin since … with no ill effects or further problems .. yet! I can only brag of one single drug releasing Stent .. so I suppose I am lucky?

April 23, 2008 at 11:09 am
(9) karla says:

can it be cured or treaded

April 28, 2008 at 8:51 am
(10) len ball says:

have been on Plavix and asprin since its intoduction,have 14 stents most all due to scaring,no ill effects,seems like every 2years,wish they would do more with the stent coating for people like myself,body just doesnt like stents,coated or otherwise….len

April 28, 2008 at 6:23 pm
(11) frank says:

I had a heart attack june 2007 (my 4th), rec’d non des stent & was was prescribed Plavix which I stopped taking after a couple of months. I then had another heart attack which turned out, the stent from 8/07 was clogged. I went to a different cardiologist who went in and unclogged the stent of 8/07 but while he was cleanig it out, he stated that it had not been opened enough and he expanded it and demanded that I keep taking Plavix!!!

April 29, 2008 at 11:53 pm
(12) Anne says:

My goodness, I did not know that many stents could be placed. I thought I had too many at 3. After 3 I went on to bypass.

I decided to make some lifestyle changes. Sad to say my first change was the recommended low fat AHA diet On that diet, I gained weight, was short of breath, extremely fatigued and having pitting edema in my legs. I then discovered I have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. All these symptoms disappeared after I went on a diet free from wheat, barley and rye.

I was never diagnosed with DM although I had a positive GTT many years ago. I am now learning to keep my blood sugar from spiking over 140 by limiting my carbs.

I have seen my hs-CRP drop to 3 from a high of >13. My triglycerides use to be almost 300 on the AHA diet and now they are close to 100. I am trying very hard never to see the inside of a cath lab again. The idea of taking Plavix forever is rather frightening. Five years out from bypass and now feeling great.

October 2, 2008 at 5:45 am
(13) raghavan says:

Had a heart attack out of the blue in jan 2007.Have one DES and am on plavix and asprin since then. I get frequent stomach aches and am taking pantazol to manage this. Ok this far by God’s grace! Touch wood.

January 16, 2009 at 2:21 pm
(14) Shirley says:

Have been on Plavix and Simvastatin and 325mg.aspirin and metropolol since July, 2008, following angioplasty for clogged artery in which DES was inserted. Don’t like taking all this medicine, and would like to know long term effects on my liver and kidneys! So far, no problems.

January 18, 2009 at 4:04 pm
(15) vermin says:

I had minor exercise induced angina then an over zealous Cardiologist slapped a stent in me. He must have been falling behind on his payment on his condo in Boca Raton. Then I ran across http://www.heartattackproof.com with Dr. Esselstyn and got really pissed off at the AHA. Dr. Ornish and those guys appear to be correct. Essey shows pictures of arteries clogged up in the left frame and then in the right frame they are clear. In a nutshell, no fruit juices, no nuts, no dairy, no meat, statins = reversed CAD.

February 24, 2009 at 5:33 am
(16) Lynda says:

Had heart attack Oct 2003;Nov 2003 had carotid surgery to unclog artery; Feb 2004 swelling in ankles, shortness of breath when walking, and some discomfort in stomach, resulting in inserting medicated stent in a diff. artery in heart. Medications my Cardiologist put me on since then: Plavix,Atenolol,81 mg. aspirin, Zocor, Ramipril, Niaspan, 2,ooo mg daily of Fish Oil Softgels (was previously taking Xanax for panic attacks prescribed by my family dr. and still taking; also Darvocet). I recently had a physical and all results reported to me as normal except kidney, which they said was borderline-no further info was provided. I have many Q’s abt that, and all of these drugs, pros and cons, and plan to do a lot of research on my own. I have so many weird physical problems, some, diagnosed; others, drs. have no answers for my symptoms: I have degenerative C-spine problems, arthritis in lumbar, scoliosis, osteopenia in right hip; abnormal coldness in facial bones that feel as if penetrating deeply into the bones(cheeks,nose,ears,forehead)that is very painful & abt to drive me crazy (dread eating out due to EXTREMELY COLD temp’s that apparently effect only ME) temperature chgs (to cold) cause extreme pressure and pain in head, causing dizziness and, at times, feeling faint. The face and head problems occur daily and no one (dr’s, others in medical field, etc.) that I’ve talked to so far has an explanation. I’m desperate..has anyone ever experienced any of these systems? When the coldness and headaches kick in, it seems to start a chain reaction, and my neck pain increases tremendously! I have had a scalp irritation for abt. the past 4 yrs, and the dermatologist hasn’t found a cure for it yet. I am literally DIGGING the hair fm my head & have a huge bald spot on top. I’ve tried home remedies such as tea tree oil, Vitamin E oil, Aloe Vera, etc. w/neg. results. Any suggestions, or anyone with any of these systems, pls respond. I’ve reached the end of my rope but still hangin on! Pls forgive me for “dumping” my entire med. history on you, when the subj. was Plavix, but I thought, just maybe, some of these problems are related, or somebody out there just might have some advice, some of the same symptoms, some recommendations or referrals. For anyone who took time to read all of this, I truly thank you! L

February 24, 2009 at 2:50 pm
(17) heartdisease says:

I have no idea what might be causing your symptoms. You might do well to go to a good general internal medicine specialist for a full evaluation.

October 5, 2009 at 8:37 pm
(18) You mean 62 says:

Diagnosed with CAD at 26. The nurse though the age on my chart was flipped and should have been 62 until she walked in and met me. One DES inserted to open acute blockage. Been on Plavix and Asprin since 2006. November this year will be my third year on this drug. I am sure that I have the same usual issues with this as most of you. Bruses and a lot of bleeding when cut. After CAD event I started a vegitarian life style plus fish. Total cholesterol is 100 with LDL being 29. Doctor is still not sure what Caused my event. Just remember to eat healthy and excercise. Hope and wait for something to come along to help us.

January 18, 2010 at 8:33 pm
(19) Al Sinyai says:

Lyndaif you haven’t found an ans. yet I would head to a teaching hospital as The Mayo Clinic or Duke.They are both top notch and I’m sure they could find an ans. for you.

February 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm
(20) Dennis says:

I received two non-DES stents in Oct 2007. Have been on aspirin and Plavix since then. Only side effect has been that I bruise more easily than in the past, although not very frequently.

March 10, 2010 at 5:18 am
(21) beth says:

I’ve been on plavix since my heart attack last april-at that time they did 1 stent & made me think with a diet change & of course quit smoking I wouldn’t need any more stents,well come july & a stress test & surprise 2 more stents-1 which should of been done in april. I’m hoping the end of July I’ll be done even tho I finally qualified for free plavix 2 wks ago-thank God they raised their income limits from 21,000-27,000.

August 1, 2010 at 9:28 am
(22) rugtha says:

had 2 des 2yrs ago. still on plavix, would rather not. 2 of 3 doctors said to continue forever, one said to discintinue after 2 yrs.. who to believe?

August 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm
(23) Glenn says:

I had 3 DES inserted 18 months ago, my cardiac specialist wants me on Plavix 75mg and aspirin 80mg for another 6 months and review. I’ve had no issues with my heart for that period now and have done some fairly heavy exercise without any symptoms.
However, a nose bleed is now a gusher which is hard to stop and I have to careful with physical work. For example, I simply lifted a large piece of wood and bruised my forearm, it must have been internal as the pain was intense as was the lump for about 4 days. I also notice that a bump anywhere now results in these egg like protrusions, never had these problems before. I ascribe this to Plavix and will be glad to speak with my cardiologist about getting off it.

October 11, 2010 at 10:00 pm
(24) richard strong says:

i had DES stent place in a heart artery 6months ago,i have been taking clopidogrel. i have made a major diet change only small amount of saturated fat, NO sugar a complete vegetarian diet.I have had no side effects.no heart problems Blood pressure 128/65. i walk 3km a day for excercise.If you continue a bad diet you will have problems.i would suggest NO sugar NO margarine reduced all fats.NO fizzy drinks NO alcohol

December 12, 2010 at 9:30 pm
(25) Tim says:

Was wondering if anyone else had these interesting after effects of Plavix and others.
I had a five day heart attack (We had a hot summer and I was working hard outside. The day I finally drove to the hospital it was over 90 degrees outside and I had climbed a ladder about 40 times tearing siding off a 2 story house). I thought it might be the heat, but the pain persisted and I went to the hospital.
They told me bad news in heaps (all news, but some stuff I suspected, and I’m not a hypochondriac) ….I had a heart attack and was in the middle to end of it, I was diabetic, I had high cholesterol, I had high blood pressure, ….. So I say I’d like a second opinion, they say, OK, you’re ugly too…J/K, that was a Rodney joke.
Anyway, I had a stent put in (98 or 99% blocked) and was prescribed Plavix, Metformin, Metoprolol, Simvastatin, Lisinopril, and aspirin.
Bad news: I haven’t changed my diet enough, and really, not a lot, but I ate kind of healthy (except for the occasional fast food) before the event with the exception of some pumpkin pie (never would give it up completely) and meat (trying to give that up more and more).
Good news: I am losing weight without changing my diet much.
Question: Anyone else? I’m 52 and haven’t been to this weight since I was in my mid 20′s.
Last question: Does anyone know the best way to get some help on the Plavix, that stuff is expensive. One program saves me 1.00 a day, (the Plavix is $6 or $7 a day). The other programs I call all want fees to help you.
I’m out of work, with 0 income. I’ve been selling off some possessions and skipping the Plavix for a couple days at a time.
Appreciate any advice.

December 13, 2010 at 9:17 am
(26) MARY says:

For Tim above who cannot afford Plavix. Try asking your physician to prescribe Clopidogrel (its the generic Plavix and its much cheaper) Plavix is only a brand name. I’m so sorry to hear that you have to try to ration it. Maybe contact your health advisor for info or write directly to the drug manufacturer and put your case. They might just send you some. Good luck.

January 28, 2011 at 11:57 pm
(27) Jim says:

I’m on Plavix since May 1 2010 and I hate it. I’m covered with bruises, I bleed for hours from cuts I didn’t even know I got. I think if I cut the tip off my pinkie I would bleed to death. The issue is endothelial overgrowth of the stent and how long that takes. The Medtronic “state of the art” stent I got in all studies shows complete overgrowth in 3 months. So now I am at the start of Plavix month 10 and I am going to stop. I saw my doc today for blood tests and he asked if I had been in a fight my arms are so bruised. The AHA and AMA recommendations are ridiculous and based on guess-work. The recommendations are from people with ties to the drug companies. At this point my feeling is -and that of my doctor too- is that it is more dangerous to keep taking Plavix than to stop taking Plavix.

March 2, 2011 at 1:10 am
(28) william says:

Had 87% clogged artery 2008 they put one clean sent in told me nothing about the failure rate of these things 7 weeks later it clogged. Now hey put the coated one inside the original. Doctors take an oath to DO NO HARM. Now i know that all they had to do was put me on natural blood thinner’s and explain to me what good nutrition was all about , what to eat and what not to eat and i would have fully recovered. No stent should have been put in me. They Ruined My life. Millions of stents are put into people and they make around $15000 each. Telling people what to eat makes us healthy but does not make them rich. 95% of all stent placements should never have been done. The U. S. Medical empire is killing us mentally physically and financially. Now i live in fear of this thing clogging for the rest of my life. I changed my food intake, its all that is keeping me alive. I take a half a Clopidogrel pill each day , I buy it in Canada for 1\3 of what’s charged for it here in the rip off USA. I take 3\4 of one aspirin a day. I now eat vegetables that help thin my blood and all kinds that have life giving results. I now spend most of my $ in the produce isle. 90% of the food and drinks i ate most of my life i don’t touch any more.Still that stent is a ticking bomb. I want to sew the hospital for putting them in me. Its criminal.

March 2, 2011 at 1:13 am
(29) william says:

Stents don’t cure anything. They create a new deadly problem and it makes doctors and the drug company’s RICH. Its shameful what they do.

March 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm
(30) Rick says:

William – how do you know the cheaper Canadian drug is not counterfeit? Many scammers claim to be Canadian pharmacies but sell totally bogus drugs (not even a bit of the real drug is in them) with packaging so good it fools experts.

March 20, 2011 at 2:12 am
(31) juanita says:

My father got ill in 2006, rushed him to the hospital. The hospital diagnosed him with CAD. My father has had several stents placed, and was put on Plavix. My father’s mental status and health went down hill from their. His feet were really swollen, cold, and had petechaie. He had problems eating and digesting food, he was always tired and mentally was not himself. He started bleeding from his rectum, and out of his penus. Doctors kept running tests, could not figure out what was wrong! Finally he got Diagnosed with liver Failure, doctors questioned my father if he was a heavy drinker, but he was not. Come to find out this may have been a side affect of Taking Plavix for so long. When my father found out he had a bad liver, he stopped taking all his medications including his plavix, and is on an aspirin regiman. Today we have my father back, he is doing very well mentally, gaining weight, is not tired, and no longer has swollen, cold bruising legs. Thank GOD!

March 24, 2011 at 10:46 pm
(32) Jill says:

I had a heart attack 12/2009, a coated stent was put in and I was put on Plavix and one 81mg coated Asprin. I also have problems with bleeding and as you mentioned about your father… confusion and a feeling of being out of it and always exhausted and lately short winded. Well I spoke to my old retired doctor and he said after the stent was put in I should have been on the plavix for only 12months and I shouldn’t be taking Plavix and Asprin together it’s a bad mixture. He told me to immedicately come off the Plavix. I spoke to the cardiologist and he said to come off the Plavix but I have to take 2 81mg. asprin a day. I started this a few days ago and I hope I’ve done the right thing. Please has anyone had bad side effects from stopping the Plavix??? Please let me know JillMDC @ live.com

March 25, 2011 at 1:14 am
(33) Edna says:

took Plavix for six months constantly had big bruise marks on skin the would take week to disappear. one night noticed pain in my arm around top side of elbow, extreme heat to go with the pain, notice a lump that keep swelling went to the hospital had ultra sound done only to fine that it was a blood clot. The explanation for the ER Doctor was that my blood had been thinned so much that it was rushing through my veins at a high rate which was tearing the wall of the vein and causing bleeding which is where the clot came from. i stopped the daily plavix. Take three days a week.

March 25, 2011 at 11:36 am
(34) Bill says:

I had two DES inserted last June/July, following my reporting angina. The stress test wasn’t successful and the angiogram revealed some serious blockage. I’m thankful I didn’t have a heart attack. Since the insertions the cardiologist and my primary care physician told me I’d be on Plavix for 15 months. In addition to the 75 mg. of Plavix I’m on a child-strength aspirin, 10 mg. of Lisinopril, 20 mg. of Lipitor, and 12.5 mg. of Metoprolol Tartr. I do bruse badly and when I get a paper cut or cut myself in the kitchen I bleed longer than ever before. But I don’t detect any side effects, currently. Once I’m off the Plavix I’ll be on the baby aspirin for life, says my M.D. I’m fortunate to have good health insurance, because I’m still working (I’m 61). I lost 25 pounds by changing my diet (reducing caloric intake, the types of things I eat, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc.). My bad cholesterol is now too low, because of the Lipitor/weight loss combination. I think it’s crucial for us to have complete confidence in our primary care physicians because they’re the ones managing our care, prescribing ghe medications, etc. I trust that I made the right choices based on solid information and options presented my my medical team. All of my procedures and care have been at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, which is aligned with the university.

April 5, 2011 at 9:31 pm
(35) Sherri says:


For my husband it started with a nose bleed, and now my husband is dead!

The Ear, nose, and throat specialist, advised my husband that it was OK for him to go off his Plavix prior to surgery, the cardiologist also gave the OK for him to stop the Plavix.

My husband had a major heart attack while in the recovery room following his surgery. He had formed clots on the stent a result of going off the plavix. He was on life support for 3 months, I can’t begin to tell you all that he went through, and what they done to him. A frickin nightmare!! He did have a 2nd major heart attack and died. It was so sad, he had been through so much, and had come so far in his recovery. He thought, as I did he would be coming home, but that was not the case. My heart is broken!

April 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm
(36) Terri says:

Hey Bill,

You said;

I think it’s crucial for us to have complete confidence in our primary care physicians because they’re the ones managing our care, prescribing ghe

All I can say is that you may want to reconsider what you just said.

Because, when my husband was in the hospital after being on life support for months, decided to take him off the heart monitor. I asked the doctor why would you take him off the heart monitor when he has an appointment to see the cardiologist for a pacemaker, and defibulator.

The doctor responded… I feel confident that he doesn’t need to be on the monitor.

He had another major heart attack, and died a day befor his appointment with the cardiologist!

That is a tuff pill to swallow!!!

The doctor killed him!

May 9, 2011 at 11:28 pm
(37) kristy s. says:

I am a cardiac nurse and cannot tell you how EXTREMELY important it is not to come off your plavix for any reason unless your cardiologist tells you. I’ve seen pt’s throw clots in routine gallbladder surgeries and die because the general surgeon took them off prior to surgery without discussing it with the cardiologist. I’ve seen many code on the cath lab table being rushed up to us after some minor, routine surgery where the surgeon thought he could take it upon himself to do that without talking to heart doc.
Personally, I do not believe patients get educated enough on this or how important it is to pay for your plavix even if you cannot afford any other medication. It is not an option. I do not believe the lay person gets enough information about this and that your stent will clot off if you quit taking it. Just lost a 52 year old man who died suddenly in the field from a massive blood clot to his stent after stopping plavix. Sadly, he never knew what hit him.

May 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm
(38) Mary says:

Kristy, thanks for your info. I had a DES placed last August. I now have been diagnosed with uterine cancer. Never realized the stent could be a problem. My oncologist wants me to wait for the 1st anniversary of my stent prior to surgery. My cancer is early and low grade. I felt so good to read your comments..cancer is scary no matter what, but your comments have reinforced what my dr. said.

Thanks! (I’ve had no problems with Plavix…easily bruised, but not like friends who are on coumadin.)

June 14, 2011 at 12:41 pm
(39) Zulema Rojas says:

In April of 2011 my husband had 2 stents in his heart. The Dr. only stated that my husband should be on Plavix for only one month. Is the Dr. wrong about my husband taking Plavix for only 1 month? My husband has coronary heart disease.

September 30, 2011 at 5:12 pm
(40) Wagdy Henen says:

Had 1 stent since April 2004 took Plavix for one year and half stopped it for one year but I was advised by one pharmacist that I should continue then I am taking it daily, no problem although still I am smoking but I am doing daily 15 minutes exercis on the bicycle

November 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm
(41) W. Edward Mitchell says:

I had a stint placed in the LDA (the widow maker) on Father’s Day 2011. I am a pastor and just finished the homily for that day. I felt a fire brand in my chest that would not go away. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital and a stint was placed in an artery I guess that I was told was 92% acluded. I have been on Plavix 75, asprin 325; now 81; at the cardiology clinic CRESTOR 20 was added along with lisinopril 2.5. Both my PCP and Cardiologists state my cholesterol is good; both bad and good, but the cardiologist said the CRESTOR is a just in case med? Does my head screw on and off? I don’t know what has happened to me or if I really had a heart attack. I am confused and afraid and nobody’s telling me anything concrete. I’m afraid that there’s a horrible prognosis and I’d like to know that; but instead, I’ve been placed in a study for 6 years. Is that the magic number? I don’t know. How can I find out if nobody’s talking and neither do the medical professionals feel like I need to know, apparently?

January 26, 2012 at 6:52 pm
(42) Gordon William says:

I’m puzzled why noone seems to have mentioned Dabigatran (Pradaxa)- the ‘new’oral anticoagulants now being promoted here in the UK. I’m wondering if one can transfer straight on to this from Plavix which I’ve now been taking for about two years as an anti-stroke drug as I have Atrial fibrilation – and also, can one stop taking this before undergoing surgery etc? ie is one jumping from the frying pan into the fire – particularly as so little is known about the side-effects of this?

May 3, 2012 at 1:24 am
(43) Craig says:

Had a heart attack at 48 in 2007, had 1 DES stent put in place and been on Clopidogrel and asprin. I have no side effects (even bleeding from cuts is reasonable) bruising more than before but reasonable. I’m very worried by the fact that there is no end date for the use of clopidigrel since the consequence of a minor car accident would be catastrophic. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t have allowed the use of DES.

My issue is being relatively young the chances of an accident event are higher and it appears to me that a detailed study isn’t being run is cause for a class action.

May 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm
(44) joseph lee says:

Had MI 2and 1/2 years ago. DIS splint med circumflex artery placed at that time. Did ok few side effects until one week ago when GI bleed occurred. Rx with protonix, and had gastroscopy which was ok. Gastrocopisc recommended ok restart plavix and asa. Hospitalist MD said no way. Cardiiologist incommunicado. Who has the best odds?? Drug company moot on point, as usual.

July 5, 2012 at 10:06 am
(45) Steve says:

Heart Attack in 2006. On Plavix for 6 years. No events since. Cardiologist stated at my last visit that there is no data to support staying on Plavix or discontinuing it after this length of time. He said that the risks and benefits are essentially equal. The decision was left to me. Still undecided at this point. Plavix has a generic equivalent which reduces my cost by about 83%.

July 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm
(46) Kay Beats says:

I am taking Plavix and because i have had stomach ulser issues in the past i have a very sensitive stomach and wonder if there is anything that i can take to help me to not hurt so much when i take this drug? I do not want to take any other pills and they told me to take pepsit before taking the Plavix but the instructions say to take it for only 21 days then what? It helps but not that much. Can someone give me some advice. thanks Kay

August 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm
(47) Daphne says:

Second time on Plavix, had heart attack 10 years ago, put me on plavix for six months, at about 5 months a hard piece of skin grew in the middle of my hand about the size of a pea. Within 3 months it was growing on the other hand and all over my feet. I have this terrible skin condition now which I have been battling with for over 9 years. At about 2 years in a chemist finally took pity on me and said that it could be a side affect from the beta blocker drug I was taking. I have had another heart attack and had stopped taking all the medication except for metformin, and they have got me on plavix 2nd time, within 3 days my skin which was nearly cleared up, has broken out in a vengence so know for sure that it is the plavix doing it.

August 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm
(48) Paul says:

Has the Plavix study referred to in the article ever been completed? I had three DESs placed three years ago and was prescribed 75 mg Plavix along with Simcor (simvastatin/niacin) and 81 mg aspirin. I definitely bleed more with cuts and scrapes.

I had a colonoscopy two months ago where the doc said I should not go off the Plavix/aspirin for the procedure. A biopsy was done during the procedure. Four days later I bleed profusively from the site and needed another colonoscopy to cauterize and clamp the site to stop bleeding. I had another colonoscopy to remove the polyp two weeks ago. This time I was off Plavix and aspirin for 1 week prior to and 4 days after removal of polyp. One week after restarting the Plavix/aspirin I again had profusive bleeding where I briefly passed out; the bleeding didn’t stop until I had repeat colonoscopy where epinepherine was injected into site to constrict the site (due to location, it couldn’t be reached to clamp or cauterize).

It appears I am growing pre-cancerous polyps and will probably have to repeat annually. So now I need to decide on continuing Plavix or not. My experience tells me to get off of it but I’d like to find some authoritative studies to review to help with decision. Is anybody aware of any such studies? Thanks.

December 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm
(49) jane spencer says:

I to have CAD and have had 4 stents and put on Plavix. My cardiologist at that time said I would have to be on it for ever. I have changed doctors and he thought I had been on it long enough 4 years. When I told him what i was told by other doctor he kept me on it do i or not need to be on this medicine i would rather not i belive its starting to cause stomach proplems

December 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm
(50) hans says:

I was on Plavex for two years after my “widowmaker”. 100% blockage in lower left anterior descending. I run Ultra Marathons – races over 31 miles up to 100 miles. Have run 10 since my 2 stents were put in. Was taken off Plavex after 2 years, last september.

February 8, 2013 at 6:00 am
(51) Stantley Hunt says:

I recentley had to have emergency prostate surgery. I have an enlarged prostate. I have two medicated stents which were implanted in 8/2005 and 12/2008. I have been on plavix since 12/2008. My dad had a history of hemorrhaging over several years due to prolonged use of bufferin asprin. My cardiologist took me off the baby asprin but insists that I continue the plavix (75 mg daily) theraphy. After prostate reduction surgery in 2007, I had two other ER trips due to bleeding and clotting. My last experience was following what was supposed to be a routine biopsy. My Urologist, Hemotologist, and Internal Medicine doctors are very nerveous if I have any issues. I had knee surgery in 10/2012 that went ok. But my cardiologist did not want to give consent to stop plavix. But my pain level shot up so high that he reluctantly consented. I have a history of polps as well. My concern is why I need to continue the plavix four years and counting after my last stent when I have other health concerns to deal with.

October 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm
(52) wayne.k says:

I had my heart attack the Saturday after thanksgiving 2012 been almost a year now went to cardiologist yesterday and asked him about being taken off Plavix since next month will make a year I’ve been on it even though I just had a stress test in april , he said he wants me to have another stress test to determine how well stent is working the thing is I had insurance the first time and this time I don’t was told it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $2000.00 bucks I don’t know what to do I really cant afford to have but don’t know if I can afford to not have it and just stop taking it and another is for the fact of having one stent means I have heart disease and coronary artery disease so everybody who has a stent or bypass sugery means we have heart disease and coronary artery disease I just don’t get the concept its really quite scary

December 26, 2013 at 10:21 pm
(53) james says:

i suffered a heart attack and have a DES stent done in 2001 and since then I have taking Plavix i.e. more than 12 years. My cardologist still prescribe Plavix to me during yearly checkup. Side effect is that i am easily bruised or cut, so i am careful not to get knock by object or cut. Health wise OK. BP is good. Cholestrol reading is excellent.

February 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm
(54) Droglite says:

I’ve been on 75 mg clopidogrel and aspirin for over 10 years now after a Taxus11 stend in LAD.
I indoor row 8k meters 2/3 times a week and am concerned about the long term effects of the drig therapy.
I’m in my 80th year and last summer i had a bad ladder fall crackin 5 ribs. The thoracic sugeon said he hated patients on clopidogrel as it made his job much harder! 6 weeks later the inevitable consequence was that he had to drain almost 2 litres of blood fom my lung.
I’ ok now but still worry about being on clopidorel for so long, espcially as iI read that the risk of intercranial bleeds for a bang on the head are a major risk.
Any experts out there who might comment?

Droglite UK

February 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm
(55) Mike F says:

I had a 99% blockage of the LAD (widow maker) 3 years ago at age 52 and had a DES installed. I was on Plavix for a year, and I then participated in a study for the long term use of Plavix. This was a double blind study, and the doctor administering it was Dr. Jay Patel at Hamilton Cardiology in NJ. I was in the study for 18 months, and expected to be off Plavix after the test, but my doctor decided to keep me on it – which I’m not happy about. It’s been 3 years now since the stent, and even though I don’t have any overtly bad reactions to the drug, it makes me very nervous and at my next appointment I intend to have a long talk with him about it.

If you’re interested in the study, I’d suggest contacting Dr. Patel. His study has been ongoing for some time, and I don’t know if there have been any results published yet.

March 28, 2014 at 2:04 pm
(56) jim says:

I had a heart attacked mar 22, 2014 one artery 100% blocked after inserting the stent the pain went away. Them the doctors said I had three other arteries that needed a stent put in. I knew nothing about these stents and the blood thinner Plavix. I wish I told the doctors no but to late now. I have the cold feet and a lot more side effects that I don’t like. I am just getting started with my recovery then rehab hope I can make it, turn 71 at the end of march 2014 thanks for info.

May 9, 2014 at 12:14 am
(57) chaar says:

I am on Plavix, and hate it as I constantly have horrible looking bloody bruises on my body, mostly arms, hands, fingers and some on legs. I have noticed my stomach is getting larger, but my weight has not changed at 145. One wonders if plavix causes internal bleeding as well as external. My doc keeps me on it to prevent stroke from clogged arteries. Of course we want to stay well, but there is something so strange to break out in big bruises when I havent done anything to cause it.! Not looking forward to summmer as I can’t wear short sleeves, as these spots are too gruesome to look at. Wishing there was something else to take that doesnt have these side effects.

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