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Plavix vs. Coumadin

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Are Coumadin and Plavix the Same Thing?

Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate) and Coumadin (warfarin) are anticoagulants (blood thinners) used to treat patients with acute coronary syndrome, heart attack (myocardial infarction), peripheral vascular disease, and ischemic strokes.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Plavix?

Common side effects of Plavix include:

  • increased bleeding,
  • nosebleeds,
  • headaches,
  • itching, and
  • bruising.
Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Plavix including:
  • bleeding that will not stop;
  • bloody or tarry stools, blood in your urine;
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • pale skin, weakness, fever, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), or
  • purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Coumadin?

Common side effects of Coumadin include:

  • easy bruising and bleeding,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • stomach pain,
  • bloating,
  • gas, or
  • altered sense of taste.

What is Plavix?

Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate) is a thienopyridine class of drug that inhibits platelet aggregation and thus inhibits aspects of blood clotting used to treat patients with acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction (MI), peripheral vascular disease and some stroke (ischemic type) patients. Plavix is available in generic form.

What is Coumadin?

Coumadin (warfarin) is a blood anticoagulant that inhibits the function of Vitamin K dependent coagulation used to inhibit the coagulation of blood to reduce or prevent the chance of developing heart attacks (myocardial infarctions), strokes, and venous and other blood clots (deep venous thromboses, pulmonary emboli and thrombi produced with atrial fibrillation). Coumadin is also used to treat these conditions if they develop. Coumadin is available as a generic.

What Drugs Interact With Plavix?

Plavix may interact with other blood thinners, antifungals, HIV/AIDS medications, or seizure medications.

Plavix may also interact with aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), armodafinil, modafinil, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, gemfibrozil, isoniazid, cancer medications, or stomach acid reducers.

What Drugs Interact With Coumadin?

Coumadin may interact with blood thinners and heparin, antibiotics, antidepressants, antifungals, antithrombotics, bone marrow stimulants, bosentan, conivaptan, cyclosporine, dextran, heart or blood pressure medications, hepatitis C medications, HIV/AIDS medications, imatinib, isoniazid, nefazodone, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine, salicylates (such as aspirin, Pepto-Bismol, and others), seizure medications, St. John's wort, thrombopoietic growth factors, or vasodilators.

How Should Plavix Be Taken?

Plavix is supplied as 75 and 300 mg tablets. For acute coronary syndrome with a non-ST elevation MI, the initial recommended dose is 300 mg, followed by a 75 mg dose per day; for ST elevation MIs, the initial and continuing dose is 75 mg per day. The recommended dose is 75 mg per day for patient with a history of MI, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease. Many doctors may choose to add an aspirin per day along with the Plavix dose in both non-ST elevation and ST elevation MIs as well as to stroke and peripheral vascular disease patients.

How Should Coumadin Be Taken?

Coumadin has a wide range of tablets: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.5 and 10 mg tablets are available. An injectable form of the drug (5 mg) is also available. The dose of Coumadin is determined in each individual by administering a trial dose and ten measuring the patient's INR (International Normalized Ratio), a lab test that is standardized by the WHO (world Health Organization) and recognized worldwide. Therapeutic ranges for this test are between 2.0 to 3.0 when a patient is taking Coumadin. INR levels below 2 may allow easier blood clotting to occur while levels above 3 may cause excessive tendency for the patient to bleed.

Reviewed on 5/11/2018

References:
Plavix Product Information.
http://www.plavix.com/
Coumadin Product Information.
http://www.coumadin.bmscustomerconnect.com/

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