Plavix Cessation Tied to Heart Risks

Article posted on:02/12/2008

The blood-clot preventing drug Plavix has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack or death in patients who took the drug and then stopped following procedures to install a stent, researchers have found. According to the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, patients showed an almost two-fold increase of heart problems within the first 90 days of cessation when compared to later follow-up periods. 

Plavix is an anti-platelet drug that thins your blood and makes it less likely to clot.  Side effects include fatigue, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, nosebleeds, some of which can be serious.   Plavix was manufactured by Bristol Myers Squibb company.   Doctors and other health care providers  promote it as a drug capable of preventing strokes and heart attacks.  The medication, however, has several side effects that should be known.  Certain studies suggest that when aspirin and plavix are combined, the medication nearly doubled the death rate from heart disease among patients who hadn't experienced a heart attack before, compared to just taking aspirin by itself.   Recently, many patients have been told to stop taking Plavix and take aspirin only.   Other heightened risks that were documented in patients taking both Plavix and aspirin was an increase in gastrointestinal bleeding and stomach ulcers.  Based on the studies that have been conducted over the past 10 years since the drug was first manufactured, people taking Plavix are urged to speak to their doctor about the new findings and avoid taking certain over-the-counter medications without your doctor's permission.  In addition, if you doctor is recommending elective stent placement for narrowed coronary arteries, some doctors suggest that patients may want to have genetic testing before agreeing to the procedure so as to better understand the effect that Plavix could have on your body.  A careful risk to benefit analysis should be reviewed for each patient.  Lastly, many  health care providers are warning their patients not to stop taking Plavix abruptly without first consulting with your doctor because it may actually increase your risk for a heart attack or a stroke.

If you or a loved one believe that you have suffered an injury as a result of being taken off Plavix, call the lawyers at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White for a free consultation or visit our website for a free consultation.  Our attorneys regularly handle these types of cases on a contingency basis, meaning that our firm lays out the expenses in advance and our clients are only required to reimburse us if the case is successful via a settlement or at trial or on appeal.  Our office routinely handles cases and matters in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas against physicians and hospitals including Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Maryland Medical System, St. Joseph's Hospital, Union Memorial Hospital, Bon Secours Hospital, St. Agnes Hospital, Sinai Hospital, Anne Arundel County Medical Center, Howard County General Hospital, Frederick Memorial Hospital, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, and Washington Adventist Hospital.