A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.
The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.
Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.
Plavix (clopidogrel) is a medication prescribed for the prevention of heart attack and stroke prevention. Plavix reduces the rate of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke in patients who have experienced unstable angina or a previous heart attack. Plavix may also be prescribed to patients with established peripheral arterial disease.
Plavix works by attaching to a receptor on the surface of platelet cells called P2Y12. Normally, platelets in the bloodstream aggregate to form clots, and these clots heal and seal injuries. In patients with cardiovascular disease (peripheral arterial disease, unstable angina, or previous heart attack), clots may form at a higher rate than normal, increasing the risk of another cardiac event. By binding to platelets, Plavix stops them from aggregating and slows clot formation.
Take Plavix 75 mg by mouth once daily. Your physician may have you take a higher dose on the first day.
The active ingredient in Plavix is clopidogrel.
Do not take Plavix while taking the GERD medications Prilosec (omeprazole) or Nexium (esomeprazole). These medications may prevent Plavix from activating in the body, decreasing its efficacy.
Do not stop taking Plavix without telling your doctor, since doing so may increase the risk of cardiovascular events.
If you are having a surgery or procedure while taking Plavix, tell your physician. They may need you to discontinue Plavix for several days before the surgery.
Stop taking Plavix immediately if you experience pinpoint red spots under your skin. This symptom may be a sign of Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP), which is a rare and sometimes fatal disorder of platelets.
Plavix side effects may include:
Since side effects are mostly related to bleeding, speak with your doctor if you have a history of major or minor bleeding, including gastrointestinal bleeding.