Heart Attack or Stroke Risk Found with Use of Plavix and Heartburn Drugs

According to new research, combining Plavix and heart burn drugs known as proton-pump inhibitors, which include Nexium and Prilosec, could substantially increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. This presents a particular problem for many patients, since the drugs are often prescribed together to combat the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding associated with Plavix side effects.

Plavix (clopidogrel) is an anti-blood clotting agent prescribed to decrease the risk of stroke and heart attack, and it appears that Nexium, Prilosec and other heartburn drugs may prevent the drug from working.

On Wednesday, Medco Health Solutions, Inc. and researchers from the Indiana School of Medicine presented new findings at the annual scientific meeting of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI).

Did You Know? Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

The study reviewed data for 16,690 individuals who were taking Plavix after receiving a stent to prop open previously clogged arteries. After comparing data over a 12 month period from 2005 to 2006, researchers found that those who were using Plavix together with a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) faced a 51% increased risk of heart attack and stroke side effects when compared to those who were taking Plavix alone.

Proton-pump inhibitors are a class of medications that are prescribed to reduce gastric acid production, and prevent severe bleeding problems that could be caused by Plavix. The most commonly known drugs included in this class are Nexium (esomeprazole), Prilosec (omeprazole), Protonix (pantoprazole) and Prevacid (lansoprazole).

Researchers found that the individual risk of heart attack and stroke associated with each of these drugs when used together with Plavix ranged from 39% to 61%.

Several recent studies have also addressed the concerns about the effects of combining Plavix and heart burn drugs, leading the FDA to issue an early communication in January 2009 to notify healthcare providers that they are reviewing the safety of Plavix .

The FDA indicated that it could take several months for them to complete their evaluation of the risk, and recommended that doctors reevaluate the need for patients treated with Plavix to use PPI drugs. The drug regulatory agency also indicated that other drugs that can be used to reduce stomach acid, such as H2 blockers like Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet and Axid, or antacids doe not appear to interfere with the antiplatelet activity of Plavix.

The manufacturers of Plavix, Bristol-Myers and Sanofi Aventis, currently face a number of lawsuits which have been filed by users of the blood thinner who allege that the manufacturers failed to warn about potential side effects which could increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding and an uncommon blood disorder known as thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpora (TTP).

At least 27 Plavix lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey were reinstated last month after being on hold for over a year pending the outcome of a Supreme Court decision issued in March 2009, which supported the plaintiffs’ claims.

Plavix lawyers who have been holding off on filing new lawsuits while the litigation was on hold, are now preparing to move forward with potentially thousands of cases.

7 Comments

  • richardSeptember 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    my wife had a steint put in in june 2009 she went back to work. in july 2009, she came home on friday the 30th of july from work. she was feeling tired, by 1:00 in the morning i rushed her to the hospital where she stayed for 72 days. we were told that plavix with priloec had caused a 3 in. blood clot at her steint. was on life support 3 times. .went home on oxygen 24hrs a day. was home approx [Show More]my wife had a steint put in in june 2009 she went back to work. in july 2009, she came home on friday the 30th of july from work. she was feeling tired, by 1:00 in the morning i rushed her to the hospital where she stayed for 72 days. we were told that plavix with priloec had caused a 3 in. blood clot at her steint. was on life support 3 times. .went home on oxygen 24hrs a day. was home approx 1 year and was not better. wal-mart sent us to MAYO CLINIC in jacksonville,florida. was there a few months, wife had to havea heart transplant on 5-3-2011. had an attorner, just got a letter saying not enough evidence.

  • L.January 24, 2011 at 7:56 am

    I have took nexium for several years..What is it with it now? Ive never heard that one..Why arent these meds checked out good before they are put on the market.?

  • DeanaJanuary 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I was in a severe car accident a few years back which was the reason I started taking darvocet. I took the pain killer for several years . I know have what doctors call a mitro valve prolasp. Rappid heat beat flutters in my heart and when I first went to the hospital over this the ER doctor said I had a ruptured sterum which feels like a heart attack. I know wonder if this is all an side affect [Show More]I was in a severe car accident a few years back which was the reason I started taking darvocet. I took the pain killer for several years . I know have what doctors call a mitro valve prolasp. Rappid heat beat flutters in my heart and when I first went to the hospital over this the ER doctor said I had a ruptured sterum which feels like a heart attack. I know wonder if this is all an side affect of taking Darvocet for so many years? Deana....

  • DebraJanuary 21, 2011 at 5:07 am

    I have been taking nexium for more than 12 years. I recently heard from someone that I should stop taking this med. I have been having some other illness issues recently and I want to make sure that the nexium is not related.

  • JoseJanuary 18, 2011 at 1:28 am

    I took plavix with aspirin and different kinds of Proton-pump inhibitors (nexium, for more than 5 years, omeprazole, more than 2 years, prilosec, pantoprazole,zenigrid, zantac) and never thought they cause heart attacks not until I read the related posts today. I thought they cause hip , wrist, spine injury only.

  • KevinOctober 16, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    i HAVE TOOK PLAVIX & NEXIUM FOR 8 YEARS ON OCT.4 2009, i ENDED UP HAVING A HEART ATTACK & BLOOD CLOTS CLOSED OF ONE OF MY VEINS THEY HAD TO PUT A FILTER IN TO REMOVE THE BLOOD CLOTS THEN OPEN THE ARTERY WITH SIX STENTS. SO MY CARDIOLOGIST STOPPED THE PLAVIX & NEXIUM COMPLETELY AND HAVE ME 2 NEW BLOOD THINNERS. THE DR.'S SAID I WAS LUCKY TO BE ALIVE.

  • CharSeptember 3, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Prilosac caused my heart to race and made me feel like i was having a heart attack. I was in the er for 5 hours and hooked up to all kinds of machines. The ekg did show irregular heart beats. ALL casued by this drug. After I stopped taking it for about 2 weeks I was ok. THIS COST $3000.

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories