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Published: August 1st, 2010
Side effects of Plavix, a popular blood thinner, may cause certain users to face an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, internal bleeding, ulcers and a potentially life-threatening blood condition, known as Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP).
PLAVIX LAWSUIT STATUS: As a result of the manufacturers’ failure to adequately warn about the risks associated with their drug, Plavix lawyers are investigating potential lawsuits. Plavix cases are currently pending in several courts throughout the United States.
MANUFACTURERS: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Sanofi Aventis.
OVERVIEW: Plavix (clopidogrel) is a blockbuster blood thinner which prevents platelets from sticking together to form blood clots. The medication was approved in 1997 and has been used by millions of people throughout the United States, generating annual sales of more than $9 billion for the drug makers.
A number of Plavix lawsuits have been filed on behalf of individuals who have suffered serious and potentially life-threatening injuries, alleging that the drug maker failed to adequately research the medication or warn about safer alternatives that may be available.
PLAVIX SIDE EFFECTS: Although Plavix has been promoted as superior to Aspirin in preventing heart attacks and strokes, some studies have found that the medication may carry no significant benefit and Plavix side effects may actually increase the risk for some users. For individuals with high cholesterol or high blood pressure, Plavix may increase the risk of a heart attack, stroke or serious bleed. For users with a history of gastrointestinal problems, the blood thinner may increase the risk of recurrent ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding when compared with Aspirin and a heartburn pill.
PLAVIX INEFFECTIVENESS: Some studies have suggested that a large segment of the population may have a genetic factor that greatly reduces the effectiveness of Plavix. People with the CYP2C19 gene variant have a reduced functioning liver enzyme that is supposed to convert Plavix from its inactive form to its active form. This potentially reduces its ability to prevent blood clots. In March 2009, the FDA announced a new Plavix black box warning alerting doctors and patients to the risk of serious or potentially life-threatening injuries that individuals with the gene variant could suffer while on Plavix.
In addition, some studies have also indicated that Prilosec, Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors may also reduce Plavix effectiveness. In November 2009, the FDA issued a public health advisory warning that the combined use of Plavix with Prilosec may interfere with the blood thinner, increasing the risk of a heart attack, death or other injury.
PLAVIX TTP BLOOD DISORDER: Side effects of Plavix have been linked to an increased risk of Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, or TTP. The rare blood condition, in which the number of blood platelets is significantly reduced, is a very serious condition that can be fatal approximately 10% to 20% of the time.