Most Popular Angioplasty Web Site

Plavix, Effient, Aspirin and Stents (2007 archive)

Email Bookmark and Share
What is the normal dosage and length of treatment with Plavix (clopidogrel) or Effient (prasugrel) and aspirin after having a stent? Have you experienced any allergic reactions or side-effects?

Other postings can be found here: Current, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005

Add Your Comment           See More Topics

Patients Are Reading...
a stent Top Forum Chat: How Long Will a Stent Last?
Transradial Wrist Approach to Angioplasty Patient Guide: FAQ on Wrist Angioplasty
Activated Patient The Activated Patient Blog:
Our Blog for Patients
candy hearts Twitter: Follow us on Twitter @cardiopatient
Bike Race Patient Empowerment: Take Charge with Action Resources
Doctor and patient PatientCenter: Read and Learn about Heart Health

CT scan of heart
Like your local educational TV or radio station, our Forum relies on help from visitors like you. The grant funding we receive does not fully cover our costs; please consider making a recurring monthly contribution or a one-time donation.
Donate Now!

More from the Forum:
• Browse through existing topics on the Patient Forum
• Create a New Topic on the Patient Forum

Click here for more information about the following ads

Archived Postings from 2007 on This Page (195):

• Dear, One year ago tomorrow I underwent my second angioplasty and DES stenting in 10 days-no MI, just accelerating anginal symptoms. NO co-morbidity prior to or after (was a fat kid so I am thinking Juvenile Metabolic syndrome as the culprit). OK, here are the 2 questions: (1) today is the 365th day since my second stent. Do I stop Plavix after today? I want to start ice skating, possibly return to playing hockey, and other activities with possibility of blows to the head. As an emergency physician who takes care of the rare Plavix disasters, my one fear is a closed head injury or intracranial vascular accident while on Plavix. I also am tired of the bruise with minor (or major!)bumps to soft tissues. So I want to stop the Plavix in the worst way. But I am a good patient so I have continued for the full year. I have the OK from my cardiologist> What does everyone else think? 2) What is the antiplatelet effectiveness of the Plavix? In other words, how long should I be off the Plavix before there are no antiplatelet effects? I know I should be able to get this from websites/pharmacists but I trust the input here more and have kept my stents quiet for fear of employment discrimination. Thank you all for being my distant reassurance and support through this. Sincerely, PA doc
Dr. R., Pennsylvania, USA, December 26, 2007

• For some of people that don't have drug coverage, you should go to your family DR, and your cardiologist and ask them for samples the drug reps leave at their offices for people when they start on plavix. A lot of time they would rather write a scrip than give samples to people who are not covered by insurance. I have seen out of date samples trashed when they could have give them to their patients. You just have to ask and ask again.
Ronnie B., Kentucky, USA, December 20, 2007

• Hi all..It's been awhile since I've written and sad news about my mom suddenly passing away Oct. 7th. A lot of stress going on here..To recap I had a DES in place Oct. 18, 2005. Although my doctor suggested I can now go off my Plavix (75mg) and continue my 81 mg of baby aspirin, I've decided to take my plavix every other day...Overall I've been feeling much better..Today, here's my concern: I have been extremely fatigued the past 3 days. Last nite for the first time in along time, I had to take a nitro as I was having arm and jaw pain like I did the night I had my angina attack...We had snow up here in Boston and although I didn't "shovel" any snow, I did clean off my car using my arms for a while...I'm wondering if I am so tire because of this exertion??? I was anemic 3 months ago and required 5 infusions of IRON...I'm not sure if it's my blood counts going down or is it my heart? Does anyone experience this fatigue on exertion? Thank You...Rosanne
Rosanne Giuliano, Stoneham, Massachusetts, USA, December 17, 2007

• T.M. -- did your husband get a drug-eluting stent (DES)? All the major cardiology associations (ACC, AHA, SCAI) have recommended that DES patients stay on Plavix and aspirin for at least one year, assuming there are no complications. The US FDA has now seconded that and will soon be issuing a formal recommendation. You might want to check out and post to the Forum Topic on "Financial Assistance".
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 14, 2008

• Is there anymore information about the VA refusing to continue issuing Plavix? They informed my husband that they will no longer dispense Plavix, even though his cardiologist says that he needs to remain on it.
T.M., Texas, USA, December 14, 2007

• Why on plavix and aspirin does one feel cold?
Dana, RC hospital, Russell Springs, Kentucky, USA, December 4, 2007

• Roger -- we love it when patients and readers scoop our news! We actually just conducted an interview with Dr. von Tiehl and Angioplasty.Org will be posting an article soon about this subject. For those interested, here's the link to the abstract (free) for Dr. von Tiehl's journal article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). The article is titled "Clopidogrel Desensitization After Drug-Eluting Stent Placement". And, as we've said, and Dr. von Thiel strongly agrees, "don't try this at home!"
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 30, 2007

• Last August I placed a post noting my experience with a simple desensitization procedure, performed at the Scripps Clinic, to overcome allergic reactions to Plavix. As a follow up for those who may be interested, I note that the Scripps Clinic staff, Dr. K von Tiehl et al, has recently published a paper on this topic in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The article is available on line at the journal's website.
Roger l., California, USA, November 30, 2007

• After receiving two DES stents in early 2007 in the US I was placed on one 75M Plavix and a 325M Aspirin daily. After moving to Germany I continued to have chest pain. I consulted German doctors and after various tests to include treadmills and nuclear medicine it was decided that my heart was OK. Following some blood tests my German doctors changed my daily dose to a 100M Aspirin and two (2) 75M plavix pills daily. Is anyone aware of a someone being prescribed to take two 75m plavix daily along with Aspirin?
Doug, Germany, November 30, 2007

• Re: Bruce's post below -- please see our disclaimer at the bottom of the page and our note from November 16.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 22, 2007

• Shelly, I buy my plavix & lipitor in Tijuana, There are hundreds of farmacias at the border competing for the trade of many americans in our predicament. The plvx. & lip. are brand name in sealed 30 pill packs. Prices are haggled according to volume so shop prices. These are "over the counter" and do not require a Rx, I do take my empty american bottles though. Customs only once checked my bag and the drugs must be for your personal use. Prices are a little more than you can get from Canada via internet where they advertise 90 Lipitor generics 80mg. which can be split for about $3ea. I take the San Diego trolly to the border and meet people that fly in and out the same day. Maybe a trip to Texas is in your future. Customs rule I think is 60 days supply, but I've heard that six months worth is not a problem as they tend to look the other way and not enforce this.
Bruce Chandler, retired, La Mesa, California, USA, November 21, 2007

• In your response of 11/18 to Salman, you mention that CT can show a lot, but with stents the only good way to check on them is with angiography. Recently my cardiologist did a CT 64 Slice Scan and showed me the results, in which he said (and it looked to my untrained eye that he was right) that their was no-restenosis in my three stents. Is there a difference of opinion on the results shown from the CT?
Tom T., Arizona, USA, November 19, 2007

• To the Forum Editor: Thank you for the detailed reply. I do not believe I was given DES but the plain metal ones. I wonder if the Surgeon decides which ones to use or maybe because the government pays for health care in Canada, they use the cheaper ones. Not quite sure. Are periodic routine exercise stress tests a good enough indicator of how a patient is doing? I was also told that as a South Asian my risks were greater of CAD. Is that borne out by statistics? Because the sub-continent has people of all races, starting with the Aryan invasion 3 millennium ago. I don't have a family history either. Mom's fine at 89 and Dad got a stroke in his 70's at a time when medical science was not as advanced as now. Besides I was told that the text book definition of "family history" was one of the parents having heart disease under the age of 55. Is it the same in the U.S.?
Salman, Toronto, Canada, November 18, 2007

• Salman -- you're right -- there is a debate going on. We just attended the TCT meeting in October where studies were presented, showing that stent thrombosis is not decreased by clopidorgel (Plavix) after 1 year, and others that were less clear. The debate will no doubt continue, but in the U.S. right now, the guidelines recommend a minimum of one year of dual antiplatelet therapy (clopidogrel or ticlid and aspirin) post-DES. As for a continuing benefit, that's something between you and your cardiologist. Plavix has benefit beyond helping to prevent stent thrombosis, but it also raises the risk for bleeding complications. Like the ads says, "Ask Your Doctor...". Stents are permanent implants, but they can close up, or restenose. Drug-eluting stents restenose less than bare metal stents, which have a restenosis rate of 15-20%. Remember, that means 4 out of 5 stents never restenose. With DES, it's more like 9 out of 10 never do. CT Angiography can show a lot, but when there are stents implanted, the only good way, right now, to image the arteries is through invasive angiography in the cath lab.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 18, 2007

• I had angioplasty in Mar 2004 at age 60. Two stents (a 90% blockage and a 75% blockage) and a ballooning without stent in the 3rd, cause I was told it was too narrow. I took Plavix (75mg once a day) for a year. I believe there's a debate going on, on whether to take it for a lifetime or up to a year. If it is a blood thinner, it could only be good for someone with CAD; so I wonder why do they stop it? Does anyone know, how long do the stents last? Is there any imaging technology available to see the arteries with the stents and the flow of blood?
Salman, Toronto, Canada, November 18, 2007

• Thanks Betty & Pete, I will check out both the sites you mentioned. I am not giving up! When I find one that works ya'll will hear from me!! I'll yell it from the rooftops!! lol And, no worries, my meds will be legal... I have enough problems without adding any new ones. ;) Thank all of you again, this is a great bunch of people!!
Shelly, Florida, November 16, 2007

• By "stent site", the doctors are talking about the site of the actual stent - the midportion of the distal vessel (I think) in the right coronary artery. Still unsure of exact origin of bleed.
Susan, Texas, USA, November 16, 2007

• Shelly, I don't know if this will help or not but I found this site. It seems to offer some help in finding a program that can assist you in getting your prescriptions. I have not signed up but it looked interesting. This is the website: -- Good luck and let us know if that helped at all and anything else we can do for you. And hang in there, you'll get this figured out.
Pete, New Jersey, USA, November 16, 2007

• Just a note to all -- we welcome opinions and information from our readers, but any opinion expressed by posters are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Angioplasty.Org or its editors. We also do not endorse obtaining prescription medicines or pharmaceuticals from any source that may conflict with the laws or regulations of any country.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 16, 2007

• i keep reading about the cost of drugs like plavix in US and Europe and difficulty in people not financially sound to continue on treatment. I am from india where lot of angioplasty procedures are performed daily and though i do not have data to support but am sure restenosis and or Late thrombosis rates would be similar to the world. The patients are given same prescriptions like Clopidogrel, aspirin,statins,ace inhibitors. These are dirt cheap here and i must add they are generic versions but i am sure equally effective. let me tell people are taking these even if they are rich enough to import and afford 200-300 dollars a month but still doctors (let me again say Indian doctors are as good as anyone in the world and they know that quite a few of the patients can easily AFFORD imported medications but they say indian medicines are equally good. Now lot of indian company medications are marketed in US and EU. So my suggestions to people who cannot afford drugs in US like plavix etc is to consider getting it from india just for reference - clopidogrel 75+ aspirin 150 combo tablet for 30 days dose costs only 3(three)dollars in india.please dont think they are not effective ,they are as good. indian medicine compares to the best in the world today. even procedures like stenting ,bypass etc on the same machines. are much cheaper . a angiaoplassty with one cypher des costs 3000 -3500 dollars at the best hospital which let me say are comparable to world standards. bypass costs 1ian medicine 10000-12000 usd. i myself went thru angioplasty im mar people rather than not taking plavixe for one year as recommended should explore indian medicine options. it is false propoganda of big cos that generics is not effective. my emailid is
Tarun Sud, New Delhi, INDIA, November 15, 2007

• Shelly--Have you checked out I'm sure there is paperwork, but it might be worth a shot if you haven't already tried it. It stands for Select Care Benefits Network, a patient advocacy organization. Good luck to you. YOU GO GIRL!!!!
Betty S., Arkansas, USA, November 15, 2007

• I still do not have my Plavix but it is nice to see the support here. I am not giving up, I feel there has to be a way for me to get this much needed med I need. It gets very frustrating, but I am very persistent and I vow to follow every lead I can find. Again, I urge any of you if you know of other companies, web sites, etc. that assist people in obtaining Rx medications they need to please post here. I see I am not the only one in this position, and I am sure there are lots more that aren't aware of this site. I did get in touch with my Cardiologist (his nurse) and they do not have any samples of Plavix, but I was told if they did get any I would be called. I'm keeping my fingers crossed & praying.. it scares me every night I go to sleep... I need a miracle as I'm sure others do. It's ridiculous knowing drug companies make the huge amounts of money they do and people as myself and others have to live in fear of death not being able to afford their meds. The amount of red tape these companies put you thru only to be turned down is frustrating. I have filled out no less than 30 pages to qualify for free/reduced meds only to be turned down since they have a quota they can't go over. Hard to think a quota has move value than a human life... (sigh) I haven't offered much information to anyone here, but it helps me to vent. Who knows, maybe someone reading this will know of another place I can try for assistance. At my local drug store I checked the price of Plavix today, $136.00 for a 30 day supply. The U.S. needs better health policies for those like us. I doubt I will ever see that day in view of my current dilemma, but I can fight for future generations. I do plan to fight this; it may take a while, but if it means possibly saving one life it is MORE than worth it! Please, if you have any information on this subject please take a minute and post it for all of us out here in this situation. Thank you & God Bless.
Shelly, Florida, USA, November 15, 2007

• Susan -- when you say "stent site", do you mean the access site (probably in the groin or femoral artery)? We assume you don't mean the actual place in the coronary artery where there stent is. Bleeding complications at the femoral access site are approximately 3-4% (we think higher) but we haven't heard of such a complication occurring 5-6 months out. Possibly it was, as you said, a slow bleed from the beginning. These complications are one reason we have initiated a section on "Radial Access".
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 15, 2007

• My husband had surgery to close a PFO in 1999, bare metal stent in 2000, bypass surgery in 2006, drug-eluting stent in 5/07. Ascending aortic aneurysm diagnosed in 5/06 at 4.2 cm. On 75 mg plavix and 325 mg aspirin daily. 10/31 he experienced severe bleeding in the chest cavity. Prior to diagnosis of bleeding, cath showed all previous repairs were open. Chest tube evacuated about 3000 ml of blood and fluid. Transferred to TX Heart Inst. because of two previous surgeries and possibility of aneurysm bleed. Latest diagnosis is that he had a slow bleed from the 5/07 stent site, which pooled and caused extensive chest pain. Lovomax [Lovenox??] given in ER and aspirin/Plavix therapy exacerbated bleeding. Do you know incidence of bleeding from stent site after 5-6 months?
Susan, Texas, USA, November 15, 2007

• Shelly -- you have sure been persistent. We've found out a bit more about Boston Scientific's program. It's called "StentPLUS" and the person in charge of it told me the same thing they told you -- they are looking to launch it right after the first of the year. Even so, it's not going to give direct financial relief to patients -- only to help them find ways to lower their costs through various government, etc. programs. Bristol-Myers and Sanofi-Aventis are the companies that are making Plavix which IS the largest selling drug in the world ($6 billion worldwide sales last year) so keep after them.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 14, 2007

• Well, unfortunately the [Boston Scientific] program I wrote about in the prior post (Oct 16) will not go into effect until 2008. In the meantime they referred me to PPA which I did apply for online. I got my response. Due to the number of people requiring medications I am presently taking there is no assistance available at this time. They did tell me to re-apply January 2008. That means at least 4 months with NO Plavix, Lipitor, or any other expensive medicine my Dr has Rx for me. I do have a call into my Cardiologist hoping for some miracle... All I can do at this point in time is pray. If anyone else has this issue, if you are able to speak with your Dr. prior to surgery that may require you to take these meds please talk with him/her about it so you don't end up in the same position I am. Good Luck to everyone..
Shelly, Florida, November 13, 2007

• Very interesting website! Glad to have found it. In Jan. '06, I had a blockage in the left leg. Went into hospital and 3 stents were placed in the inner thigh area. I was already on a Plavix/aspirin regimen and this was continued at discharge. Absolutely no beneficial results from the stents. Doing a little research of my own, I learned of the Silverhawk Plaque Removal procedure. My cardiologist had never heard of it, contacted a representative of the company. That person came to meet with me, explained all about it, risks, etc. I had the procedure in June '06. The results were amazing to me. I could walk with no pain whatsoever for the first time in a long time. But the surgeon who performed the procedure didn't seem too happy with me for wanting that method. When he discharged me from the hospital, his comment was, "Well, stents are better". In Sept. '06, I had a routine visit with my cardiologist. He had a Physician's Assistant I had never met. This person took me off daily Plavix and told me to take it every three days. Within 3 weeks, I had a blood clot in the left leg. The same doctor who did the Silverhawk procedure also removed this clot. At the same time, he also implanted 3 Cordis stents. I had no idea he intended doing that. From the time I left the hospital my leg hurt terribly in the calf, back of knee and back of thigh areas. I kept being told it was just soreness and would work itself out. In Jan. '07, my cardiologist performed an atherectomy on the leg to try and determine the cause of the pain. Could find no reason for it. In Sept. '07, I had another blood clot in the same leg, even on Plavix/aspirin. I have never missed a day taking the meds. Well, lo and behold, the same surgeon who implanted the stents also removed this clot. Afterwards, he demanded to know who had put those stents in. He said they are the wrong size and are too big and the clot had formed at the stent. I told him he did, but he denies doing it! He told me that when my cardiologist did the atherectomy, he must have done it! Well, I have the card showing when, where, what and who signed it. He did. I am very upset that he is now saying that not only did he NOT do it, but that they are the wrong ones.
Betty S., Arkansas, USA, November 13, 2007

• I have been on plavix and few more other expensive medications for more than 4 years. I had 3 stents put in over 4 years ago and i ended up with an open heart less than 6 months ago (quad). I am not insured and every thing i get i have to pay for. As i said earlier i am taking few other expensive medications beside plavix, such as lipitor 80 mg,zetia 10 mg , hi blood pressure medication, nitro glycerin patched .04 mg and because they are so expensive i am afraid that i might not be able to continue taking them. My question is ,is there any way of getting some help ? If yes , where and how? By the way i am american citizen. Thank you.
Murshed, Ohio, USA, November 12, 2007

• Glenn -- it's always a comfort to get a second opinion (some insurance plans cover patients for this) but it's reasonable for your doctor to be concerned if you are at high risk for bleeding. Only your doctors can make this assessment, but it is one of the big problems with drug-eluting stents and the need for antiplatelet therapy. However, we've recently seen several studies that show no increased benefit of Plavix after a year, that is in regards to prevention of stent thrombosis.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 11, 2007

• April 2005 I had a heart attack. I had a cath, angioplasty, and drug emitting stent. My cardiologist put me on Plavix for one year then took me off. When I questioned being taken off, he said the concern is for bleeding problems. Should I consider an additional opinion? I am not taking plavix now and do take 325 mg aspirin, though he suggested going to low dose
Glenn B., Michigan, USA, November 10, 2007

• Otis -- thanks for the info. We've mentioned Ticlid often -- but bee stings!!?? That's a new one on us. Which stent did you get and where did you find out that the med in the stent is the same as a bee sting??
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 10, 2007

• I have a medicated stent placed in 2005. I was put on PLAVIX and aspirin. I had bad reactions to the PLAVIX and the MEDICATED stent! My cardiologist put me on TICLID. No more problems. Hope this helps others. The problem with the medicated stent is that I am allergic to BEE STINGS. The meds in the stent are the same as getting a bee sting, that is why I got HIVES from the med stent.
Otis Holtsclaw,, Hopkinsville Kentucky, USA, November 8, 2007

• Shelly, I have a friend who ran out of insurance and plavix is the one he's having trouble finding an alternative for. There is no longer a generic. Try and you can get an application to Bristol-Myers among many other companies for drug assistance. He does complain of itching, but thought it was from dry skin. I'll share your story with him. You are not alone. Your local retail/pharmacy, big chain stores also may offer assistance with their prescription drug plans for as little as $4 per month if you can get a generic. Good luck!
Deb, Andover, Minnesota, USA, November 7, 2007

• Clifford -- if your husband is coughing up blood, it's a possible sign of a bleeding complication. You should not hesitate to see your interventional cardiologist -- right away!! Don't make medication decisions without consulting him/her -- and don't go off Plavix without discussing this with the cardiologist who prescribed it.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 7, 2007

• my husband has been on plavix for 2 months, he has been coughing up blood . since he has been on it . he had one stent put in.what do you suggest about it. we are getting concerned.
Clifford, Missouri, USA, November 6, 2007

• What is the current medical wisdom or findings concerning medicated stents and stopping plavix. I have two taxus 2 stints (for 1 year)in my LAD And i am seeking 2nd and 3rd. opinions before I stop taking Plavix.
George G., California, USA, November 6, 2007

• In January 2007 I had two Taxus DES stents placed in my heart by an American Dr. The Dr. prescribed a Plavix (75) one each day and a 325M aspirin. I have since moved to Germany and, due to persistent pain in my chest, made an appoint with a German Cardio Dr. He changed my medication to a 100m aspirin and two 75M plavix pills each day. I was wondering if anyone else has ever been prescribed to take two 75M plavix daily. I would think I would be getting less medicine since it has been over six month since the placement of the DES stents, however, the prescription is for more Plavix.
Doug, Germany, October 26, 2007

• D.C. -- see other posts about allergic reactions. The rash is something that's definitely been seen with Plavix, but it's hard to sat with all the various meds. There is an alternative called Ticlid -- it used to be prescribed before Plavix was available. Many docs switched to Plavix because Ticlid seemed to cause more reactions, but some docs actually find Ticlid has less allergic reactions in some patients. It's the only drug they use in Japan. Maybe your doc could try that. But you should discuss this with your interventional cardiologist -- and do not go off Plavix without his/her knowledge.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 24, 2007

• My husband just had three stents placed in three arteries Oct 19,07. They sent him home taking these meds: Plavix 75mg, Lipitor 20mg, Atenolol 25mg, Nexium 40mg, Aspirin 325mg & Zoloft 100mg. Now my question is which one of these med's is causing him to have an allergic reaction with hives all over his body? I noticed third day home he had broke out under is arm's and down his side, called the doctor no response, woke up today all over. Called general doctor they said to start taking benadryl. He has taken six tablets in eight hours no relief. What do we do now?
D.C., Indiana, USA, October 24, 2007

• Steve - thanks for writing in. We do not know of any studies about Cipla -- and any Google ads on this site are automatically placed there -- we do not in any way endorse any of them (we're just trying to raise some funds to help keep the Forum online). Again we would urge you to discuss this with your physician. But it is interesting that you're not having reactions to it. We hope it is actually doing what it's supposed to.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 24, 2007

• First let me say that I have adequate insurance and can otherwise pay for brand name Plavix as needed. However, I have experienced unpleasant side affects from the brand name drug.

For over a year I bought generic plavix from medco, my provider, and had no problems with the generic equivalent. After the Federal judge ruling, medco could no longer manufacture generic plavix and I am back to taking the brand name drug. I am now experiencing the unpleasant side affects, such as sores in mouth and nose, anxiety, muscle spasms, irritability, among others likely precipitated by some of the previous ones.

This situation resulted in my purchasing generic Clopidogrel from discount drugs from Canada online. I received the drugs, but they arrived wrapped in a brown paper bag with a return address from a residence in India. This worried more than a little and I have not taken any of the drugs but have continued taking the brand name plavix. Today, I notice your site includes an advertisement for Plavix from The drugs I received are from the manufacturer Cipla as indicated on the link from your site, come packaged individually in aluminum 5 pill strips, and then enclosed in a quality plastic case with two latches. It is very professional looking and expensive packaging. Are these drugs equivalent to plavix? I read all I could find about Cipla and they apparently reverse engineer the drugs they manufacture. Is that standard practice by drug companies outside the U.S.?

I received the Endeavor stent as part of the Endeavor IV clinical trial in May 2006 during an MI, and have maintained my dual anti-platelet regimen since. The brand name Plavix is wearing on me. I am walking 3 miles in 45 min 5 times a week. I have reduced my cholesterol to 140, lost 20 lbs and 4 inches in the waist since the heart attack, but my doc wants me to continue plavix, and continues to try to improve LDL to <70 and HDL > 50 by upping Vytorin to now 10/40mg. I am otherwise doing great until I had to go back to the brand name Plavix for the past couple of months. I'm not sure how much longer I can tolerate Plavix and will likely take the generic i received from Cipla at some point. I sure would like to hear that others are taking this drug without adverse effect. Thank you for all you do
Steve S., Georgia, USA, October 24, 2007

• To all who write in asking for advice about medications and doses -- in our disclaimer we state nothing on this site should take the place of advice from an MD and we urge all patients to ask these questions of their cardiologists. Generally speaking, most interventional cardiologists will prescribe Plavix and aspirin for a year after the placement of one or more drug-eluting stents. Most recommend staying on aspirin for life; some prescribe Plavix for longer, assuming the patient is tolerating it well. For bare metal stents, most prescribe Plavix for 3-6 months and aspirin for life. But Plavix is indicated for conditions other than stenting and you should ask you cardiologist these questions. And certainly if you are not tolerating the drug or having an adverse reaction, call your cardiologist ASAP -- there are a couple alternatives, one if Ticlid (ticlopidine) which is what is used exclusively in Japan.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 23, 2007

• Received two (2) non-drug eluting stents in 2002 -- one in March during an ACS(STEMI) and one in August -- at the ripe old age of thirty-seven (37). Have been on the following medications CONTINUALLY since: Toprol XL 200mg qd, Altace 2.5mg qd, PLAVIX 75mg qd, ASA 325mg qd, Tricor 145mg qhs, Vytorin 10/20mg qd, Nexium 40mg qd. Should I still be taking the Plavix and Aspirin combination at this point five and a half (5.5) years later? Should the ASA level be 325mg? Please advise -- seems unusual from reading other posts in this forum.
Joe Y., South Carolina, USA, October 21, 2007

• Dear Editor and All: My father, 86 years old, had 3 stents put in two years ago. He has been on Plavix, Aspirin, and Lipitor for two years. Does he need to have Plavix for the rest of his life? Plavix is expensive. I am looking forward to your advice. Thanks a lot.
Mark L., North Carolina, USA, October 20, 2007

• Shelley, can't understand why Plavix is so expensive in USA. I am in Portugal at the moment and here its list price on the box is 51euros, you only pay that if you are not in the state health scheme.
Tel, United Kingdom, October 18, 2007

• Shelly, Sorry to hear about your problem with Plavix, but I have been through the same situation. I have not worked in over 2 1/2 years and I am broke. I understand how It feels not to have Plavix and know you need it. I have recently been in that situation. I have also already had a stent thrombosis. You cannot afford one. Call you sponsor, I hope you have one at your Cardiologist office, EVERY DAY. CALL Bristol-Meyers everyday. Explain your situation and tell them you are out. Do this often. You will be heard. But most of all, get all the paper work they request to them immediately. Good Luck. P.S. If you are thinking about SSD file it now, don't wait. You can't speed up the Government!!!
Bob Puckett, Snellville, Georgia, USA, October 17, 2007

• Last night you posted a reply regarding Boston Scientific and a program they recently launched. Today I contacted them via email. They initially responded to me that the stent I have was made by Johnson & Johnson, not Taxus and they would not assist me. I copied the article you sent the link to and emailed them again. I received an immediate reply from them apologizing. They stated I was the first person to make the type of request I had, and that they are forwarding my information to the correct department. It makes me wonder how many may be missing out on this. Even someone at Boston Scientific isn't fully aware of their program. It shows persistence does pay off and I hope others will contact them if they have a need. Thank you again for the information. I will let you know if I am able to get assistance from them and that too may help others. Kudos to you!!
Shelly, Florida, October 16, 2007

• Thanks again, and I do fully understand that you can not give medical advice. You can probably see I am grasping at straws trying to get my Rx for Plavix. I did see my Cardiologist last week right prior to my insurance running out, and not being able to afford Cobra. I advised him of my situation, and he said I NEED to take it somehow! I do understand that. Hard to do when one only has 50.00 to their name. I will call Bristol Myers Squibb tomorrow and maybe with a bit of luck I can speed up that process. Hopefully something will break soon. We live in the great & wonderful USA, and I am sure I am not the only person with this dilemma. it's truly sad that our health care system fails so many, not just me. I will update this forum if there are any significant changes. Thank you again so much for assistance. You do a great service to many!
Shelly, Florida, October 15, 2007

• Shelly -- not to panic you, and we do not and cannot give "medical advice", but most cardiologists agree that Plavix should not be stopped, especially in the first 6 months after drug-eluting stenting. If you have any way of getting some, you should do so ASAP. Call your cardiologist and explain the situation.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 15, 2007

• Thank you so much for such a timely response! You misunderstood one thing; I did have insurance which did cover the Plavix, but not the Lipitor. My insurance has run out and I am no longer employed. It may be a while before I am covered by group insurance if I am able to find employment at age 58 with my medical issues. Not just the heart attack I had but my back surgery prevents me from doing a lot of things. But, back to the issue at hand. I am presently out of Plavix. Do you have any idea how long one may safely go without it? I was wondering if Plavix is stored in the system for a few days while I try to figure out a way to get my Rx for it. My mind of course is playing tricks on me right now... anxiety from not having the drug I am sure. I have contacted Bristol Myers Squibb some 3 weeks ago when I learned I would no longer be insured and to date no response. I have also registered with the program Montel Williams endorses >> Partnership for Prescription Assistance at the same time. (3 weeks ago) and have not heard from them either. I guess all this takes time. But, I have to wonder how much time I have before my stent may be affected by not having the Plavix. I did receive a Cordis Cypher Stent.. Sirolimus-eluting if that is of any help. Thanks again in advance for your thoughts on the subject. I come to this site several times a week and it's great the support I see for each other. I wish everyone the very best in their recoveries.
Shelly, Florida, October 15, 2007

• Shelly -- your cardiologist is right -- Plavix and aspirin are both important drugs to take post-stenting. If you got a drug-eluting stent, you need to take them for 6 months-1 year at least (aspirin for life -- but unlike Plavix, aspirin is cheap). This is a big problem for this field -- in fact a number of cardiologists ask patients if they'll be able to afford a year or two of Plavix before they put in a stent. If patients can't afford that much, then they may use a bare metal stent which only require 6 weeks of Plavix -- however, with bare metal stents, the blockage does have a higher chance of reclosing. In your case, which was an emergency, an extensive interview wasn't possible, so he made the decision based on his experience. Just an aside -- your story highlights one of the great successes of angioplasty. 20 years ago you would have gone to the hospital where they would have given you pain killers while they watched your heart attack play itself out. Assuming you survived, you would have ended up with a damaged heart muscle and a significantly lower quality of life and increased risk of death. So that's something to be thankful for. Now, back to the present.... It is outrageous that insurance doesn't cover a drug that is needed this critically. Try to contact Bristol-Myers or Sanofi-Aventis again -- they make Plavix. Also try the stent manufacturers. We know that Boston Scientific (makers of the Taxus stent) announced a $40 million program back in March to increase compliance, part of which was "a patient assistance program designed to facilitate access to financial support for anti-platelet therapy for patients who qualify". This is regardless of which brand stent you received. Contact them and please let the Forum know the outcome. Good luck.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 15, 2007

• In June while watching a DVD with my daughter I began to have excruciating pain in the back of my shoulders. 911 was called & I was told I was mid heart attack. I have never had any heart related issues. Upon arrival to the hospital, I was prepped and taken immediately to the Cardiac Cath Lab; a Cypher Stent was inserted thru my groin. Other than the anxiety from it all, I felt pretty good other than my back. I had major back surgery a year ago and lying in one position for almost 24 hours was unpleasant to say the least. I was sent home with Rx's for Plavix, Lipitor, Coreg, Potassium, and aspirin. Since then my insurance has run out! Plavix where I reside is $145.00 a month! YIKES!! I have signed up for assistance with drug companies but have yet to hear a thing from anyone. This month I can not afford the Plavix and I am scared to death what may happen without it. There must be others out there in similar situations that can not afford all your medications and I am wondering what people do in these instances. My Cardiologist did give me all the samples he had in his office, but I have used all of it now. He states I NEED the Plavix... what to do.. what to do? Anyone have any ideas?
Shelly, Florida, USA, October 15, 2007

• R. from Buffalo -- itching has been reported here as an allergic reaction, possibly to Plavix. Your mom's cardiologist is correct -- that she should not stop taking Plavix. But possibly he/she could try Ticlid to see if the allergic symptoms go away. Ticlid works similarly to Plavix, but is not used as much in the U.S. because it seemed to have more side-effects. However, some physicians (and all of Japan) find Ticlid works when Plavix doesn't. Remember, this is not medical advice. You must discuss this with your mother's interventional cardiologist!
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 14, 2007

• My mom had 4 stents put in on September 1st and another 5 two weeks later. She has been on plavix, aspirin, protonix for her stomach, blood pressure and cholesterol medicine. Up until two weeks ago, she has been fine and getting better every day. However, two weeks ago, she began itching. I called her cardiologist and her primary Dr. and both said that it shouldn't have anything to do with the medication she is on and perhaps she is using another laundry detergent....(she's not). Has anyone else experienced itching from Plavix?...also is there an alternative? Her cardiologist is adamant that she doesn NOT stop taking Plavix. Also, is it possible that the medicated stents put in may be causing this?
R., Buffalo, New York, USA, October 14, 2007

• To all: any adverse reactions, especially bleeding, hematomas or bruising, or abdominal pain, etc. should be reported to your interventional cardiologist. Some patients have allergic reactions to drugs. And bleeding complications and bruising, are an adverse effect of Plavix. Weighing the use of antiplatelet meds against the risk of stent thrombosis is something you should discuss with your cardio. Certainly do not go off your meds without consulting him/her. We also recommend looking at related topics in the right hand side-bar column
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 14, 2007

• My husband is a post-stent placement recipient (6/2006). He has had an increase of spontaneous bruising lately. Large hematomas on legs, arms and flank regions. The most concerning thing though that happened recently is that my husband took off a pair of white socks and noted spot of blood inside the socks. No active bleed noted at that time but was able to see blood on wash cloth. I talked him into going to primary MD that day for labs. No active bleed noted at MD or since that one episode. He also had some reddish mottling and petichiae on the bottom of his feet. MD had labs drawn. All labs were within normal ranges. In fact, his PT/INR was 13.2/1.2. I would have thought the those levels would have been way over therapeutic levels. I was surprised and now confused. So is his doc. He also takes ASA 81 mg daily. And Lipitor 40mg daily. I am also concerned that some of the hematomas seem to be spontaneous and without any source of trauma, are his internal organs at risk of bleed?
Belinda Thomas, RN, , Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA, October 13, 2007

• Lynn -- have you looked into a virtual colonoscopy?? This is done with CT and is less invasive. However, it's new and is only done in certain centers.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 13, 2007

• My sister is taking plavix for PAD. She has a stent in her left leg that was placed earlier this year. She has already had to have angioplasty to the stent area since it was placed. She has been having bright red blood in her stools intermittently for several years and went to see a gastroenterologist . He told her that she would not be able to have a colonoscopy unless she was cleared to stop her plavix. Since she has had her stent occlude after 6 months, I am sure that her cardiologist will not take her off the plavix. I am sure that there are alternative testing to evaluate her rectal bleeding, but the gi doctor didn't offer any others. Any input?
Lynn A., Tennessee, USA, October 10, 2007

• I am a 61 yr. old male who had two stents a month ago, given 75 mg plavix and big aspirin. I am having severe colon soreness. Is this some kind of warning sign or bad reaction? I am trying to get some answer before contacting my Doctor. The doctor and hospital are already sending me threatening bills. I If some one has a response I would appreciate it. Thank you for your time.
David T., Kentucky, USA, October 3, 2007

• Dear All: My mother had one drug-eluting stent put in approx. 3 months ago and is experiencing extreme head tension/pressure, spasms in neck, (she was diagnosed with cervical distonia, although the symptoms only started after the stent and her taking Plavix) Almost all doctors although being helpful have not understood why she is feeling so bad. She has also received botox injections in the neck to relieve symptoms as well as myofascial release therapy. None of it has seen to help. I believe she is allergic to either the stent or to Plavix, but what do I know, I am not a doctor. The problems seem to be of a neurological variety. She did not have any of these problems before the stent or taking Plavix. She is 73, and also diabetic/high blood pressure. These are my questions/concerns: Am I crazy to think she might be allergic to the stent or to Plavix? Are there any alternatives to Plavix? Does anyone know of any alternative therapies that might help with her symptoms even if only temporary solutions..? Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions would be greatly appreciated as it is breaking my heart to see her in so much pain.
Mark Chaffins,, Student, Jackson, Missippi, USA, October 1, 2007

• In Jan/06 I rec'd 2 coated stents and started Plavix. 8 mos later I rec'd 4 more stents and was told that I had a completely blocked artery. I was put on an aggressive medication program: blockers, inhibitors and long term nitrate. With angina still worsening I took it upon myself to stop the Plavix. I was gradually able to slowly return to a increasing exercise program. 5 mos later I stopped the nitrate and after 3 more months I am now free of any angina that I can feel. I can exercise to the limit of my physical capacity. The hitch is that I now have to live with the constant fear of fatal thrombosis due to having coated stents in me without the use of the preventive medicine. It certainly appears that in my case at least, Plavix was causing worsening Angina. I would like to hear from anyone who is having similar experience.
Leo, Montreal, Canada, October 1, 2007

• I am a forty nine yr old female with Lupus. I had a heart attack 4 yrs ago and every yr in the spring they put in more stents. I know have 6 stents in my heart -- one in my right groin. They are now saying the Lupus is attacking my blood vessels and heart that it isn't plain ole artery disease as thought all along. This is the problem I am dealing with now. I just got out of the hospital for the second time this yr with my heart (stent placement) and I am taking Plavix and 325 mg of aspirin amongst other meds they gave me Lovenox three times not to mention other thinners via I.V. my stomach and my groin are black almost all the way across my stomach and hips. Which I can cope with. The problem is to brush my finger across it stings severely. Not touch it , just lightly brush across it. It hurts to wear underwear. soft shorts anything that touches it. I noticed the problem before surgery with bruises any where on my body and no one can tell me why and just blow me off. Help??? Is it the Lupus or a blood disorder? If the Dr's cant figure it out what do I do next?
Bunny, Loranger, Louisiana, USA, September 30, 2007

• I have a Boston Scientific Taxus coated stent...placed Feb, 2006. Originally told to stop Plavix after one year. However, Dr told me later to stay on it with one baby aspirin a day. My blood is thin anyway with chronically low blood platelets following radiation treatments 12 years ago following prostate surgery. I do have blood spots periodically on my skin...especially on the hands and arms. Is it possible to stop taking aspirin or plavix...or the amount? Every other day? Do doctors take into consideration blood platelet count?
Joe T., Georgia, USA, September 29, 2007

• Michel -- don't know about the genetic link -- Japan has somewhat different reimbursement rules in medicine, so medications are used differently there. Plavix and Ticlid are somewhat related, but you should discuss this with your doctor. Plavix is used for specific reasons in heart patients. It's use after stenting is one. There may be other drugs he/she would recommend. Aspirin and Plavix accomplish similar tasks (keeping the blood "slippery") but they act on different biological processes, which is why "dual" antiplatelet therapy is what's been found most effective.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, September 20, 2007

• After going through an angioplasty with no stent implant (it was a Y situation on the RCA and the doc didn't find it right) and being prescribed plavix, I developed rash and itching. Being told to get off Plavix and after reading these cases I feel maybe Ticlid would work for me. I am an asian and knowing that Japanese cardios prescribe Ticlid, maybe its a genetic thing that Ticlid work better with asians. Also does aspirin and these meds have the same blood thinning quality? Does blooding thinning mean declustering of platelets or something else too? If so why do we need all of them? Any answers?
Michel Thakur, OLC, Orlando, Florida, USA, September 6, 2007

• My father who was very lucid, able to drive his car and go walking in the mall had a drug-eluting stent put in for a 90% blocked artery 8 weeks ago. He was put on Plavix immediately. He began bleeding into his limbs, having swollen limbs and having muscle jerks within two weeks. By three weeks post-op he could not walk more than a few steps due to pain. No doctors would listen to us until we finally got him admitted to hospital when he could no longer walk and was barely lucid. For a long story made short, he was finally diagnosed as having Acquired Hemophilia (blood test for factor VIII and inhibitors) caused by Plavix or Ciproflaxin (taken 6 months before symptoms). He was taken off Plavix and ASA and the bleeding stopped. He cannot go back on Plavix and they're not sure about ASA because of the Acq. Hemophilia. The cure for Acq. Hemophilia is steroids and is currently too dangerous for him. I'm telling his story in the hopes that it will help someone else in their search for a diagnosis.
Tracy M., Ontario, Canada, September 3, 2007

• I had stent put in heart blockage may 2007 and then the doctor said he seen where i should HAVE 2 stents for iliac---I had that done 1 week ago---I am taking Micardis and Lopressor----plavix and baby aspirin--also was told to take lipitor or crestor---I took crestor----My problems are related to lack of sleep (stomach burning--feels like battery acid at times) Oh I had 60 percent of my right lower lobe of lung removed the middle of Feb. 2007---I seem to be breathing OK and use oxygen at times mostly at night--I just started taking nexium for stomach discomfort----I was wondering why I have to take crestor or lipitor if cholesterol is OK???I also was told have mild sleep apnea and will treat that with mask at night----seems like micardis is not a well known drug for hypertension and I would like to use lopressor instead twice a day. P.S. will be 72 Jan 2008
Frank M., California, September 2, 2007

• Chad -- you've posted on the Forum before, in the stent allergy topic. Your concern about nickel is an important one for patients to be aware of because almost all surgical implants that are made of metal have some nickel in them, not just stents. All stainless steel contains nickel. Actually, if you look at a stent, you'll note that it is extremely small, and it is a mesh, so the amount of metal involved in a stent is pretty minimal, especially when compared with things like the metal rods used for broken joints, etc. So the actual amount of nickel in a stent is very small. But it's not correct to say that the medical community is "lying" about this -- all package inserts warn of allergies. The problem is that, as you have noted at length, how do you know if you are allergic? The cheap earring example is actually a good one. Patients who may be getting a metallic implant of any sort really need to be "proactive" and let their doctors know of any allergies. We would also hope that doctors or nurses stress this question during the pre-procedure interview. While testing may be an option, one would hope that the majority of patients who are allergic to metal would have become aware of that by the time they're old enough to have coronary artery disease. As for the interaction with smoking, anyone at risk for coronary artery disease should not be smoking, period.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, September 1, 2007

• Dear Readers, Doctors are saying the allergic reaction is to the Plavix or Ticlid. This is not always the case. Some of the human population is allergic to the chemical composition (Nickel). Nickel is also a known carcinogenic. All of the stent studies conclude at the 6 month mark and are quite free with the fact that they don't know what happens after 6 months. Also they don't know about the reactions if more than 2 stents placed. Also manufactures warn of using stents of different grades. What happens when you have several heart caths with different stents put in. Answer: Nobody knows cause not enough long term testing was done prior to the OK for the stent placements. Some of the toxic effects are listed on the brochures. Muscle and joint pain, IBS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, trouble sleeping, and on rare occasions Psychotic episodes. My wife is 34. She had the first heart cath with 3 stent placed. Here we are 9 years later and she has had 13 heart caths for 11 stents placed, a triple bypass(no more stents could be placed), and the sternal wires removed 7 month later because of the nickel in the sternal wires. I recently discovered that all 11 of the stents contain nickel. The medical community (manufactures, Doctors, Hospitals) are saying the stents are 100% Titanium or 100% stainless steel. Even when asked if there is nickel in stents the answer is always the same 100% yes there is no nickel in the stents. WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!! If you can't were cheap earrings that contain nickel, you have a nickel allergy. Huh, how many people do you know can't were cheap earrings? Yet it's OK to put these in to the human population without our consent to the nickel. And if you do have a reaction in vivo to the nickel in the stents, Oh well, there is no precedence for removing them. You have to live the rest of your life with the chronic conditions that come from being allergic to the nickel. A transplant is the only way to date to remove the stents. What do you do if you find out the medical community is lying to everyone about what might actually going on. By the way smoking cigarettes and being exposed to second hand smoke triggers the nickel allergy. So with that in mind, what do you think the outcome is going to be with more people developing heart disease, more stents being put in, and people smoking anyway. More people will not be properly diagnosed with ailments relating to nickel in vivo. Remember there is no way to remove stents once they are placed. Don't you think the manufactures and the doctors should have implemented a plan to remove offending stents to those that can't tolerate them? Or how about following the manufacturers' warning "Some people have an allergic reaction to the Stainless steel alloy" (contains nickel) or the Titanium alloy (contains nickel). The only test for a nickel allergy is done on the skin and it's not always conclusive. The only true way to measure how allergic to metals you are is through a blood test. Since we are dealing with matters of the blood, this test should be administered before any metal implants are done. Doctors and hospitals ignore this warning and do no testing prior to implantation. For more information on the effects of nickel in vivo go to They are the only ones that test the blood for how allergic you are. More people are have a reaction to the nickel in the stents than either the doctors realize or are ignoring because they are now held liable for not paying attention to the fact listed right on the brochures from the manufactures. You can google Nickel Allergy and Toxicity or any words containing nickel in vivo. One more thing I read before I go, a nickel solution was injected into a dog heart and a decreased left ventricle action was noted. Upon more solution more decreased action was noted. This was not from the solution as it was from the nickel. Nickel emits the ion constantly. It's the ion that we are reacting to. Remember the story of ERIN Brockovich, hexivalant chromium. It's a metal also. Our bodies don't all react the same way. My theory is that more people are have reactions to the actual stent not the meds. I'm not discounting meds work, but I believe it has more to do with the metal, especially if you smoke. Good luck and Lord bless to all who are affected by this. Chad and Tana.
Chad Lehan, Spokane Washington, USA, August 22, 2007

• Hossain -- you should discuss this issue with your cardiologist -- the one who prescribed Plavix, which is used to keep the blood "slippery" and avoid clots -- it is prescribed after stenting and is a very important drug. He/she would be best suited to determine if any interactions might occur.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 22, 2007

• Dear Editor, I am 60 years old and I had 1 DES in June 2006 and the cardiologist put me on Low Plate, Losec, Isoket, Norvasc,Tenormin. I had again problem in June 2007 and another DES inserted in my right main artery by another cardiologist. The second doctor prescribed Plavix, Despirin, Isoket, Tenormin and Norvasc. My question is whether with the medicines prescribed by the 2nd cardiologist, can I use Losec as its prevent the stomach and may inside bleeding. I dont know whether my question would be understandable for you as this is my first attempt to write to someone.
Hossain, Retired, Pakistan, August 22, 2007

• I'd like to add, although reading my post makes me sound like a skeptic or frustrated, one action by my former cardiologist is the basis for this tone and I think it's worth mentioning. My last procedure was in May of 06, I had experienced very severe pain, typical to this on-going pattern experienced. This time I was pronounced to be "clear", that's it. No percentage of blockage was provided. My Cardiologist told me my heart was fine, looked just super. Subsequently I had the normal follow up visits. These suddenly became quick less then 5 minute visits, BP check and listen, you're doing great, here's the door... In May of 2007 I decided enough was enough, this doctor was telling me after I had reported chest pains on several more occasions.."it has to be something else other then your heart and you need to go over that with your MD". This seems like a total disregard for stent thrombosis and my pattern experienced. I had applied for disability and this Card became angered and returned a very unfavorable report to SS. I continued to have problems, very low energy levels, weakness, chest pains whenever I experience physical or mental exertion, sometimes just on it's own, shortness of breath, the heat of summer almost makes me non-functional and I can't tolerate it at all. My new cardiologist has and is running me through test, I passed a treadmill. I am currently going through pulmonary and lung test with a specialist, my MD wants a sleep study and is telling me what they will find is nothing unordinary for what he knows about me, a sleep test is what I need. I have asked to discuss the stent and plavix issues.... I get nothing, total can it be said to discuss what to do if several doctors are 100% unwilling to even recognize there could be something related? It's like a taboo subject. I am having problems, when I exert they get worse, I have been given reasons, test, and other things....they will not collectively consider, talk, discuss, or entertain plavix and medicated stents. It appears that they are more interested in proving it's something else. I understand the need to eliminate certain things, but this going to the most extreme lengths of trouble shooting I could imagine. My new Card is one of the highest rated in my area within a prominent hospital and medical group associated with a leading medical university, I like him...except what I have said which makes him like the other one.
Gene, Missouri, USA, August 9, 2007

• Thanks Roger. If you check the right-hand sidebar, you'll see a link to an article about a desensitization study done at the University of Iowa. This definitely carries the warning "Do Not Try This At Home!" -- you did the right thing and Scripps is a great place. Glad they know about this and you are correct. It is not that well known. Here's hoping we're all helping a little to spread the word.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 7, 2007

• After having a DES inserted, it developed that I had an allergic reaction (skin rash) to both Plavix and Ticlid - quite unusual my cardiologist advises. fortunately for me there is a simple desensitization procedure for Plavix allergies like mine - a series of increasing dosages taken over 3-4 hours. I had my procedure performed at the Scripps clinic in San Diego CA. No rash since (3 months). I got the feeling from talking with my doctor that the availability of this procedure may not be widely known so i thought i Would place this post.
Roger, California, USA, August 2, 2007

• Dear All, My father (69 yrs) had 2 cypher stents implanted at 14 july. Doctor gave him aspirin, Clopidogrel, monotrate. After one week, he suffered very itched skin allergy on the whole body. Doctor stop all medicine and watch.But he still suffering allergy. Welcome any idea.
Ice Forge, Yangon, Myanmar, July 25, 2007

• Marcie and CH -- we hear your frustrations. Marcie, we also refer you to our topic on "Plavix and Surgery". This is a complex issue and one which prompted a joint science advisory from the six major physician organizations back in January. As we have discussed in our articles and on these Forums, the science about how long Plavix is needed is not clear. One well-respected study done in Milan showed no significant prevention of stent thrombosis for Plavix after six months -- yet the cardiologists in that same hospital still prescribe Plavix for a year or more, almost as if they didn't totally believe the results of their own study. While these situations may sound like a Paddy Chayefsky movie, we can assure you that the issue of stent thrombosis and Plavix is a rare occurrence, although an extremely serious one, and now that data have surfaced, dealing with this situation is on all cardiologists' minds. Marcie -- you are currently two years out -- our advice is to have your surgeon and interventional cardiologist discuss the risk/benefit of having your surgeries. Physicians in the various specialties need to work together to help improve patient outcomes. CH -- your point about individualized treatment is right on -- and this is becoming more and more recognized -- that there are "subsets" of patients whose treatment may need to be X or Y -- for example, some patients may be more prone to thrombosis than others. The trick, of course, is in discovering who those people are and what the markers are. Genetics is one area that may lead to significant advances for patients in the not-too-distant future.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 25, 2007

• I was discovered to have high blood pressure out of the blue in 2003, no history at all before that. I underwent many test following this. In 2004 I had a heart cath, minimal blockage, less then 50%. 6 months later I had problems, underwent further test and this time was found to be over 95% blocked. I was given a stent. 6 months later more problems, another stent == in that fashion, back-to-back, clogged at exit of 1st stent. 6 months later more problems, but only 50% clogged and no stent. 6 months later heart attack and another stent in a whole new artery. 6 months later more problems, found clear and fine. I have had a definite pattern. Now I'm fine, no test, no caths since May 2006. Plavix, Metoporyl, Lavastatin, Aspirin that varied 325mg to 82 mg, Avalide after building a tolerance to Lisinopril. Test proved inadequate for my condition and was routed directly to the heart cath lab per my Doctor for any reports of chest pains. I don't agree that rehab or head issues can solve everyone's problems. We are all individuals and we react or heal individually. I personally believe that snake oil/poisonous stents/toxic test performed are adding to a problem not fully understood that is commonly being treated as "shared" problem when it's actually a unique problem. "We cure nothing, we heal no one...." George C. Scott from the movie Hospital in the early 70's. We are being treated like a herd of cattle and what's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander. Aspirin - I was told to take 325mg per day for quite a while, later I was told that 325 mg was too much and no more beneficial then taking 82 yet I was also told that 325mg caused too much blood thinning with all the other drugs being applied...can you say.... experiment? Guinea Pig? Lab Rat? And to think people worry about being abducted by aliens for medical experiments and probes? I'm now 52 and have been dealing with heart troubles since 95, first heart attack (that's 12 years). How many doctors quit on you yet?
CH, Missouri, USA, July 16, 2007

• Energy level low after 2 stents and plavix treatment.
E., Ontario, Canada, July 13, 2007

• I have read most of these posting's and can agree to most. One question I have is nobody says that they are using vessel due med's. Am I taking something that I don't need or what. Doc says that it will keep the blood flowing at a better rate and most likely prevent a heart attack.
Sam K., Philippines, July 9, 2007

• I had 2 DES in 8/04, 2 more in 12/04 and one in 5/05. I later learned that I most likely did not need two of these DES )-: I have been on Plavix since 8/04. In 2005, I tore my ACL and Medical meniscus. The pain in my knee at times is suicidal.This has limited me severely and I am unable to do house work, cardiac exercises, etc. I cannot have surgery due to the stents in the LAD. (RCA stents are not in question) The new Interventional is concerned with the LAD stenosing and causing a fatal blood clot if I am off Plavix for 7 days as is required for knee surgery. When I had the first DES, I was told I would be on Plavix for one year ONLY. We had planned on knee surgery last Fall, 2006 but halted when the scare of DES vs. Plavix surfaced. Now, I am told that I have a Parathyroid tumor and it needs to be removed. I cannot have this surgery either. I am so livid. I was a believer that within one year I would be off plavix or if another stent it would be another year. Now, it could be Plavix, forever. I was told that I could be in pain for the rest of my life as getting off Plavix to fix another health problem could kill me. Does a patient have any recourse with the stent manufacturers? Thanks.
Marcie, Texas, USA, July 2, 2007

• Charles and L.L. -- this is not medical advice, but many cardiologists prescribe Plavix to their drug-eluting stent (DES) patients for at least a year, often two and quite a few for life -- that is, if the patient can tolerate the Plavix and is at low risk for bleeding. Remember, the Plavix and avoidance of late stent thrombosis is an issue with drug-eluting stents, which were first approved in the U.S. in 2003, not with the earlier bare metal variety which you most likely have. Plavix has other advantages for heart patients, but there are also downsides. These issues need to be discussed with your cardiologist. Ask questions so that you are confident as to why you should or should not take these medications. BTW, most heart patients are on aspirin for life, unless they have bleeding risks.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 1, 2007

• ok, quick question. i had a stent put in LAD in 1999. i was on plavix for 1 month, then told to switch to a full aspirin. should i be on plavix at this stage of the game? i'm now 53 and have had no other problems, thanks!
L.L., New York, USA, June 30, 2007

• I received two stents 6 years ago and have been on Plavix all of that time. Now the VA won't give it to me says I don't need it after one year. My Cardiologist says I must take it. My family Dr. says I don't need it just take a full grain aspirin. What do I do????
Charles Williams, Graysville, Pennsylvania, USA, June 30, 2007

• Dear Angioplasty.Org Staff, thank you for your quick response. I did, in fact, have an issue with bleeding internally. Colonoscopy showed "hemorrhoids". Hopefully that is the culprit for the iron deficiency. Made it through the "iron infusion" yesterday with no side effects. (happy about that). My question was: will my iron level remain stable after the next three infusions? Guess I will have to wait that out. If the "bleeding" has stopped, I'm hoping the iron will increase or at least remain at a good level. I'm still thinking about the plavix vs. aspirin in October. Hematologist thinks aspirin would be the better choice to help with "heart" issues and that Plavix can be safely stopped..Me, I'm not quite sure..For now, I will stay on both drugs....alternating one every other day....Thank you again for your quick response. God Bless and stay healthy all my DES friends.... Rosanne
Rosanne Giuliano, Stoneham, Massachusetts, USA, June 13, 2007

• Rosanne -- have your doctors suggested that you might be having some bleeding issues? The fact that you have a history of having bloody noses and a low hematocrit might suggest that. Bleeding is one of the main complications of clopidogrel (Plavix). As for advice -- we've often stated, we do not offer specific medical advice and nothing on this web site should be used as a substitute for medical advice from a physician. In particular, yours seems to be a somewhat complex situation, best discussed with physicians who you see in person and who have your complete medical history. That being siad, our recommendation is to make sure that any decision to stop Plavix is made jointly by your interventional cardiologist, hematologist and any other doctor involved in this aspect of your health care.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 10, 2007

• Dear Forum Editor. I need your advice. It will be two years since my DES coming up in October. I start "iron infusions" this Tuesday, as my Iron levels have not responded to 3x a day IRON pills (orally). Seems the recent "celiac" disease diagnosed in March of this year is a malabsorption disorder causing the iron not being absorbed through my GI tract. In any event, hematologist are saying I can stop my Plavix in October and stay on my 81mg. of aspirin...I hear these stories of people going OFF plavix and a year later having "heart attacks"...I now take my plavix every other day since the onset of celiac and my CRIT going down to 27..I've finally got that up to 36. I'm feeling much better off wheat and gluten products but my iron level is still making me tired. HELP...I have time to think about this, but I am not comfortable going off my plavix. The bloody noses have subsided and basically I'm feeling GREAT.... Any advice would be of great help.
Rosanne Giuliano, Stoneham, Massachusetts, USA, June 9, 2007

• MM -- was Plavix prescribed for you after a stent? If so, we DO NOT recommend that you stop taking it or you are increasing your risk for a blood clot. In any case, if you were prescribed aspirin as well, definitely continue with that. You need to contact your cardiologist right away to discuss any adverse reactions -- these specific reactions you're having exist, but are relatively rare for Plavix and may be due to something else -- another medication, etc. Let us know what you find out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 6, 2007

• Can anyone tell me how long it takes to get this drug out of the system. It's been 5 day since I stopped taking it and I have really been sick. Is This because my body is detoxing? I still am nauseated, suffocating, coughing, and worse having the "D" just out of the blue. Thank you for your time.
MM, California, USA, June 6, 2007

• I had 3-stents implanted in Nov 03 and all is fine. Two were the drug eluting type. I am on 75 MG Plavix, 81 MG Aspirin, 5 MG Crestor and 1000 Units of fish oil twice daily. Initially all was not fine. I had many of the same symptoms others have described, but my doctor and I discovered my side effects were the result of trying to tolerate too high a dose of statins, such as 40 MG of Lipitor, Vytorin, Zocor, etc... to get my LDL to 70. I am now trying a low dose of Crestor 5 MG to see if it will get my LDL to 70, if not we will gradually increase the dose to from 5 to 10, 15, 20 etc. So far all the muscle soreness, pain, etc. are gone since switching from a 40 MG dose of Vytorin to the low 5 MG dose of Crestor. I will take a blood test next week to see how well the Crestor is working. I recommend staying on your 75 MG of Plavix as long and you can.
Ed Lipinski, Retired, Woodbridge, Virginia, USA, June 6, 2007

• TO TM UK [March 6, 2007] -- Simvastatin update ! - a short time after starting my simvastatin I noticed a shortness of breath and aching in my legs , spoke to cardiologist who stopped simvastatin, reverted back to previous good condition very quickly. I will not be taking statins again !! - on reflection these drugs that prevent production of cholesterol by the liver(at night) are not needed if you don't have a cholesterol problem. my problem was caused by smoking ! not bad diet ! therefore having stopped smoking 18 months ago improved my fitness levels & improved diet even further I don't need the drugs.
David W., England UK, June 4, 2007

• An update from Span in California. It has been two months since I had 4 DES put on. Everything is going well. I exercise for 1 hour at least 5 days a week with no pains, mostly cardio stuff. I have been asked to taken the Slo Niacin to improve my bad cholesterol numbers. I am able to tolerate the slow niacin very well as opposed to the regular niacin, which I just couldn't take. My dentist indicated that if I ever need to have dental surgery she would do it for me with no hesitation. She said that she needs to be extra careful because of the platelet therapy. My energy, happiness are all back into my life and I feel good. My cardiologist is hoping that sooner or later there will be a test available that will tell us when to get the patients off of the platelet therapy.
Span, California, USA, May 31, 2007

• Temporary stopping PLAVIX - I had 2 DES fitted in the r/h artery on the 1st Feb 2007 & was put on plavix for minimum of six months,however I was due to have an 'op' on my eyes on 9th may - Plavix was stopped 1 week prior to the 'op' but I continued with the 75mg aspirin only twice per day instead of once, the 'op' was carried out with great success and I went back on the Plavix next day with no ill effects, eyes have now cleared of all bruising etc. Generic Plavix - My son is a Pharmacist and he thinks this was withdrawn due to worldwide licensing dispute with the drug company that produce the original, the generic was a copy of their product & they stopped the sale of it (allegedly). P.S. my cardiologist says that Plavix only needs to be taken until the stent is covered with new cells and is therefore undetectable and will not cause the "protective" blood clot that can be so dangerous.
David W., England, UK, May 30, 2007

• P.B. -- This is a b ig problem with DES -- it is recommended NOT to use a DES if surgery is likely in the next year. But what happens in an unplanned surgery? Check out our topic on Plavix and Surgery for more stories about having surgical procedures while taking Plavix. There is definitely a risk to stopping Plavix and aspirin prematurely. Does your husband need a hernia repair? If so, you should have the interventional cardiologist and the surgeon consult with each other -- so that the cardiologist makes the surgeon aware of the risks. Maybe a compromise, delay or temporary plan, can be worked out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 20, 2007

• My husband had a DES put in his RCA in Feb of 2007. What do we do if he needs a hernia repair? He is on Plavix and Aspirin.
P.B., Florida, May 20, 2007

• Dan -- generic Plavix was briefly marketed in the U.S. by Apotex, but is the subject of a patent suit by Bristol-Myers / Sanofi-Aventis and the judge issued an injunction against Apotex back in August, stopping the sales. They flooded the market with six months supply, but that's run out now.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 15, 2007

• I was just informed by my pharmacy that the generic for plavix is no longer being produced. They said that there was nothing wrong with the generic but the manufacturer has stopped the production. Any idea why? Is there an alternative generic drug that can be used in place of Plavix?
Dan, Indiana, USA, May 13, 2007

• In two months it will be a year since I had (2) Taxus DES stents placed in my RCA. Whenever I ask my cardiologist how long I'll need to be on Plavix, she usually says at least a year, possibly for life. The last visit in December she gave me a little more information. She said that the most risky period for late stent thrombosis with my type of stent was from 6 months to a tear after placement. She said that after 1 year the occurrence drops off dramatically. I don't mind being on Plavix. I have absolutely no bad reactions to any of my medication. Sure it's not easy forking over $32/month after insurance for it, and $35/month for Lipitor, and $25/month for Zetia ... But considering the alternatives wife will have to pay a lot more than that to bury me ;)
Kevin, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, May 10, 2007

• First, I just want to thank you for this forum that provides great information and support from those that have 'been there'. Thank you. In Dec. 05 I had two DES's placed in the right side of my heart and than a third in Feb. of 06. I was put on Plavix and Aspirin like everyone else. Now my pharmacy has informed me that they will no longer provide the generic for Plavix (Clopidogrel). They assured me there was no problem with the generic but it's manufacturers are quitting production. If it does the job than why is it going out of production? My second question is my cardiologist has indicated that during my May appointment, he will be taking me off the Plavix. I realize that there still is not enough information or testing that is available to determine if this is a good course of action. I intend on asking him to let me remain on Plavix until some test is available that will confirm cell growth in the DES's. After this amount of time, do you feel that I am being too cautious by wanting to stay on the Plavix? I trust my Dr. but maybe not this decision..... Thanks Again !
Dan, Indiana, USA, May 6, 2007

• Pat -- the "Y" is technically known as a bifurcation lesion -- and they are tricky to stent. Aspirin and plavix are both antiplatelet drugs. They prevent the blood from clotting (which can be the cause of a heart attack). They do act differently, which is why they are often used in combination. Any specific adjustment to your mother's drug regimen should be done by her cardiologist -- it sometimes can take a while to get the right combination.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 3, 2007

• My mother is on plavix and aspirin. she has a blockage but no stent due to the difficulty of placing the stent in the Y where the blockage is. she is always tired. is this a side effect of both these meds? can she go off plavix and just keep on the aspirin?
Pat K., California, USA, April 30, 2007

• It's a Rosanne update: After my hospital stay it was discovered that I now have "Celiac Disease". While I was admitted in March 07 for "angina" pain, test revealed Celiac. I had all the symptoms but no one paid attention. My crit is 27.4, my iron level is 7, my head was so itchy, I had an abscessed tooth causing major infection throughout my body. My blood pressure would not go down. My cardiologist suggested I go off my Plavix and Aspirin, but I am so nervous that I decided to take them every other day. My problem now is that after my endoscopy I've developed two polyps on my vocal cords and have lost my voice the past six weeks. My stomach has never felt so good since I've gone wheat and gluten free. My blood pressure has been NORMAL for the past four weeks. I feel like a new person with the exception of being weak from my anemia. I have blood in my stool (they say from the plavix and aspirin), which brings me to my question: SHOULD I STOP the Plavix and aspirin for awhile while I await having my "second" colonoscopy.(I had a normal one last JULY). I'm awaiting my second one to ensure there is nothing wrong. I went off Plavix and aspirin for one week after being discharged from New England Medical Center in Boston and tolerated it well. I'm in another "catch 22" with my life and would really appreciate your opinion. My life has surely changed since my STENT in Oct. 05. If I didn't loose my voice and could get my crit UP..I'd be happy to say I'd be on my way back to the ME I use to BE... Anyone care to give some advise??? I'd really appreciate it.
Rosanne, Stoneham, Massachusetts, USA, April 26, 2007

• Tom -- you light the way. Your interaction with your gastroenterologist is precisely the model for physician-patient teamwork that we discuss so often. As we reported back in January in our report, "New Advisory: Will Stent Patients and Their Doctors Get the Message?", you also have performed an invaluable service for your doctor as well. Good luck!
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 25, 2007

• All of us who have DES stents are concerned about procedures or surgeries which may be required in the future, due to our need to stay on plavix & aspirin. Recently on this site (April 18) I reported that my Gastroenterologist would not perform a colonoscopy while I stayed on plavix & aspirin. However, this was second-hand info from his nurse. I have now personally discussed the issue with him, and he has agreed to do it even while I remain on both drugs, and I am scheduled for early June. It will be a full colonoscopy, not a virtual one. He seemed reluctant at first, but after I discussed the possible danger of stopping plavix therapy and mentioned that now many cardiologists advise plavix therapy indefinitely, he admitted that he had done the procedure before on patients under such therapy and would do mine. For anyone in a similar situation, I would suggest getting past nurses or assistants who schedule procedures and talk to the doctor directly.
Tom, Arizona, USA, April 25, 2007

• Just to keep you all posted. I'm Paul from New Hampshire. At the age of 42 I received 7 (seven)...yes...count'em...SEVEN drug eluting stents. I received them in Sept. of 04 at Mass General Hospital. I have been on Plavix, Toprol, Lipitor, Cozaar, and Aspirin (ecotrin) 325 since that time. All is fine (knock on wood) I continue to exercise and hope I can become the poster boy for how long you can avoid a bypass. I am proud because I did nothing to induce my CAD. I have never smoked, I don't drink, I have watched my diet and have never had high cholesterol. I am told it was mainly stress and genetics that were the main culprits. There is hope. Lets all be appreciative of the medical minds that have helped us avoid the knife. I love you all.
Paul, New Hampshire, USA, April 25, 2007

• Shirley [April 12, 2006], I'm so sorry! I can't help you but I'm with you!
Ilona, Maryland, USA, April 24, 2007

• To Span in California, you are right! Most posts here are from people doing the asking and wondering, and the fantastic Forum Editor is working tirelessly to answer as much as he can. Here is my contribution - I am 56, had one DES stent put in at the end of April 2006 (yeah, one week short of a year!) The same drugs which you described, seemed tolerable (tolerable .... as long as I ignored the rash, nose bleeds, bruising, the Lisinopril-induced dry cough and the nags from the GI doctor) until August. At that time major stomach bleeding. After few days in a hospital and few blood transfusions, I changed the prescription from Protonix to Prilosec (over the counter) and then I changed the cardiologist, because not all are in the top 50%. With the new doc's guidance, I continue to take Plavix, but no more aspirin. Major lifestyle change is great! Quit smoking, good diet, lost few pounds, got into cardio exercises and actually enjoying it. "I can live with that!" As a result, my BP is down, heart rate is down, LDL is down, all naturally, and I am gradually eliminating all the "temporary" pills. The cardiologist is reluctant to let me drop the Plavix. Well, I've got one week's worth of it left to decide and I just might keep getting refills until I read some good news on After a year, it is becoming tolerable. Now, the worst part is figuring out how to deal with the GI, who is bigger pain in the @$$ than what he is curing.
Tom, San Diego, California, USA, April 24, 2007

• Basavaraj -- great question -- the one that everyone is asking. Some doctors say at least a year, others say two years, others, like your cardiologist say "for life" or until better data come out that can be a guide. We're not trying to skirt the issue and avoid answering. There is real debate on this issue -- sometimes within oneself. My favorite story is this exchange from the December 2006 FDA panel.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 23, 2007

• I am 56 year old male underwent PTCA to distal RCA & implanted TAXUS Drug Eluting Stent 3x32 mm. I am keeping fine without any problems. I am on Clopidogrel and Aspirin medication for one year. Now my cardiologist advised me to continue these drugs for life. What is latest finding on exact duration of this medication after implanting DES. How long I should be on this medication?
Basavaraj M, Bangalore, karnataka, India, April 23, 2007

• Thanks Tom for your post. As regards Michael C's posting I agree that all aspirins are meant to be the same and they are not! I have tried the following safety coated aspirins: Ecotrin, St. Joseph's and Bayer. The one that doesn't really screw up my stomach and cause itching was St. Joseph's. I couldn't tolerate Ecotrin at all and Bayer was in between the two. I am glad I listened to my wife, before trying it out I thought all aspirins are the same. My advice is try different brands to figure out what suits you. My observations were all for baby aspirin. Also interestingly I did not find any difference between plavix and the generic clopidogrel, except of course the whopping price increase. Once I again pls try both to figure out which suits you best.
Span, California, USA, April 19, 2007

• Interesting posts re allergies. After receiving a stent in the RCA, my wife purchased a large bottle of 325 Mg Aspirin to take home, along with Plavix and Altace. A month later, my legs began to itch intolerably, especially in the shower. We tried changing from generic plavix to brand name, and from generic altace to brand name, with no effect. My cardiologist and my allergist were baffled. Which left the aspirin - we changed from the generic stuff to Ecotrin, and bingo - no more itching. I think it must have been the binder(s) or dye in the generic aspirin that caused the problem. I hope this helps someone.
Michael C., Los Angeles, California, USA, April 19, 2007

• Rick -- this was discussed by the FDA panel we attended in December -- the consensus was that if the patient had gone off for any length of time and hadn't thrombosed, that the healing had probably happened and they wouldn't recommend going back on. Of course, Plavix has other indications and might be useful for other reasons. It also has downsides -- surgery, for example.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 18, 2007

• Just curious, if say one year after stenting one goes off of Plavix and then because of all of this news regarding Plavix a year after stopping, can it do any good to restart the plavix or does the one year off nullify the benefits of restarting?
Rick, New York, New York, USA, April 18, 2007

• Tom -- there's been talk on these Forums, both in this topic and the one on "Plavix and Surgery", about the problems of getting, say, a colonoscopy while you are still taking Plavix. (To find a word on a text-heavy web page, do a "Control-F" and then type in, for example, "colonoscopy"). No great solutions were presented, other than finding a doc who does the "virtual" colonsocopy -- which some feel isn't quite as thorough. If you find a doc who will do the standard procedure while you're still on Plavix, let the Forum know this option exists. Thanks for the post.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 18, 2007

• Span from California wants to hear from others who have had no problem with drug therapy after drug eluting stent placement. I had 2 DES and 1 BMS placed in February of 2006. I have been on 75 mgs of Plavix, 325 mgs of Aspirin, Lisinopril, Metotoprol, Lovistatin, and Zetia ever since (14 months). Fortunately, I have had no meaningful side effects. I just bleed a little more than normal, if I receive a small cut or scratch. My Cardiologist wants me to stay Plavix indefinitely. He believes that at some point a test may become available to determine who might be relatively unlikely to develop in-stent thrombosis when stopping Plavix therapy. My Internist, I am sure to make the point of staying with the therapy, jokingly said I can go off it "post-mortem". My only concern, is that I am overdue to have a colonoscopy. and the doctor who did the last one for me wants me to go off Plavix for it. My Cardiologist suggests that I find a doctor who will do the colonoscopy while continuing Plavix. He says there are ones that will. I haven't starting searching yet.
Tom, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, April 18, 2007

• Shirley -- your husband's experience highlights one of the problems of stents, and drug-eluting stents in particular -- the need for long-term Plavix. If a patient is at high risk for bleeding complications, a DES should probably not be used, because of the greater tendency towards blood clots. The problem is how does the cardiologist determine "high risk for bleeding"? Of course, even bare metal stents have a thrombosis risk in the first few months. We would suggest consulting an interventional cardiologist at a major center since he/she would be the most familiar with the risk/benefit situation. And Span from California -- we also would like to hear from patients who have had no problems with the required regimen -- and you ARE in the majority.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 17, 2007

• I had 5 des put on March 16, 07, 3 cordis and 2 driver stents. I have been taking clopidogrel, plavix, vytorin, baby aspirin, metoprolol and lisinopril. I have been doing fine, ever since. It looks like my stomach is able to tolerate the super aspirin strategy. For how long is the question. Studies have clearly shown that des causes late stage thrombosis. It is at a different time for different people. People who suddenly stop plavix seem to show a faster rate of thrombosis. If you can tolerate it then continue with it. If you cannot speak with your IC before stopping it. I do have slight itching, like an earlier poster has pointed out, only in the areas where clothes touch the body. Mostly in my lower back. It is so mild I can easily tolerate it. I am soon going to try plavix instead of the generic to see if the itching goes away. I'll feedback to this forum. It would be good to hear from people who are doing well with plavix and baby aspirin, that would be a good feedback to the rest of us. I keep hearing only from people who have unfortunately run into one problem of the other. I am a 53 year old Male living in California.
Span, California, USA, April 13, 2007

• My husband had a CYPHER drug-coated stent on Jan 7, 2007 because of a 70% blockage and was put on Plavix and 81 mg aspirin.Soon after he began to feel weak and very tired.His family doctor ran blood tests and found his blood count 8.5 which meant he was bleeding somewhere. A few days later he began bleeding from his colon badly. We were out of town and after arriving at the emergency room of the nearest hospital, they took him off of all his blood thinners to try to stop the bleeding. After missing three doses, he had a blood clot to block the stent and he had a heart attack. They immediately put him back on Plavix and aspirin. The bleeding stopped for awhile, but is now recurring again. He has just been released from the hospital and now four days later he is bleeding again. He needs to know if anyone out there knows where he can go for HELP as his doctors are at a loss of how to help him. He is 66 years old and very active. I am afraid I am going to lose him if we do not find help soon. Please advise.
Shirley, South Carolina, USA, April 12, 2007

• My husband and I moved to Az from Pa in January of 2005.I had a cholesterol problem for 3 years which I continually tried to address. It seemed everything I tried I had reactions to. I went on Red Rice Yeast pills and one aspirin a day. After moving to Az, I started walking like I used to in pA. I started getting a burning sensation which would last about 5-10 minutes during and after I walked. Finally I went to a family doctor for an exam and told him about it. He sent me to a Cardiologist whom told me I had Angina. The next day, I had a stress test. Two days later, I was in for angioplasty and received three stents. That was Jan 13, 2006. I went in for four more stents April 5, 2006. During that procedure, the Cardiologist discovered that I had an Aneurysm on the very first stent he inserted. He told me later, he thought it was caused from an infection. He had tried to put the line for the stent in my arm and could not get it to insert past my elbow. I got an infection in it and ended up back in the hospital for two days. May 31, 2006, My Cardiologist did another angioplasty to see if the aneurysm had grown and it had not. Of course I will always have it and I will have to be on Plavix the rest of my life. I hate it. I have a memory problem which I think is from the Plavix. I get stomach pains also. Needless to say, I am full of bruises continually. I also get chest pains if I try to work out too much. Is there anyone who has experienced the same occurrence as me? I would love to talk to you.
Linda, Arizona, USA, March 27, 2007

• Editor -- Many thanks for the rapid response to the question. Is the supposed issue then limited to the polymer coating on the Cypher stent and not any retained drugs? To a layman, with a mechanical background, it would appear that the arterial tissue would be more acceptant to a polymer than stainless steel. Is there any concern over the porosity of the polymer used? To a degree, it would appear that the systematic continuation of the Plavix & Aspirin is more a function that, if it does not harm the patient, there is no solid reason to discontinue. For example, if it does not harm and could potentially help, there is no solid reason to discontinue the drug. Limited experience with the medical profession, but have been seeing this trend.
Steve E., Florida, USA, March 31, 2007

• Steve -- Supposedly the Cypher stent has a "nominal elution period" of 90 days, although most of the drug is eluted in the first 30. The Taxus also elutes a controlled dose in the first 30, although, depending on the version used (slow or moderate release) 70-90% of the paclitaxel drug stays in the polymer (is never eluted). But the drug is eluted from a polymer (plastic) coating on the stent, and for the Taxus and Cypher, the polymers are permanent -- they do not degrade. Some second and third generation stents, not yet on the market, have biodegradable polymers (like the Conor, now part of Cordis / J&J) which will turn into a bare metal stent after about 6 months.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 31, 2007

• Greetings. Rather new to this game, installation of a Cypher in the RCA October, 2006. Might be a rather basic question on my part, but just how long do the DES stents continue eluding their coating? At that point, does it effectively turn into a bare metal stent? Thanks.
Steve E., Florida, USA, March 31, 2007

• Randy -- scroll down to January 29, 2007 where a couple Forum posters had a discussion about this. And Pbenge in Florida -- talk to your GI doc as well -- there is a non-invasive diagnostic test called a "virtual colonoscopy", but it's very new.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 31, 2007

• After my 5th DES I am back on Plavix, this time for an undetermined time. I also have an AVR and am on Coumadin for life. My doctor increased my aspirin to 350 mg per day. My question is how common is it to be on Coumadin, plavix, and aspirin, possibly for life? What are the long term risk? My age is 52 male.
Randy, Alabama, USA, March 30, 2007

• My husband had a heart attack in Feb-2006. A DES was put in his RCA. He has been having GI problems and was scheduled to have a colonoscopy to diagnose the problem. The cardiologist says we need to wait on any invasive procedures. Are there other diagnostic tests that can be done that would be safe while still on Plavix and aspirin? Thank you
Pbenge, Florida, USA, March 24, 2007

• My brother in India had 2 drug coated stents implanted on March 5, 2007. The doctor forgot to prescribe aspirin and Plavix and after 2 weeks put him on those drugs. Would the anti coagulants still be effective and prevent blood clot formation?
Rajani C., Maryland, USA, March 20, 2007

• To both Rosanne and David from England -- when is it safe to stop Plavix? That's the big question. First of all, this is something which needs to be answered for each patient by their interventional cardiologist. This was the topic of discussion at the FDA panel in December and will be next week at the American College of Cardiology meeting. The most oft-repeated general recommendations we've heard for DES patients are aspirin for life, Plavix for at least a year -- both assuming that the patient is not at risk for bleeding complications. (Rosanne -- it sounds like you have been having such complications.) In patients who are not having problems with Plavix, many cardiologists are now recommending Plavix for longer than a year -- but each patient is different and has different clinical situations. It is highly recommended that the decision about Plavix and aspirin be made by your interventional cardiologist. This is the specialist who knows the most about whether you need to continue dual antiplatelet therapy -- and can best weigh the risks of stent thrombosis against the risks from bleeding or other blood problems, which can be very serious.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 17, 2007

• Dear Editor. I am in need of some major advice. I was admitted to a Boston hospital last Saturday. This is Rosanne from Stoneham. 55 year old non smoking female who had DES procedure October 2005, LAD. I have ITP (platelet dysfunction) and have been on 81mg baby aspirin and Plavix Blood counts were down to 114,000 (plts), 28.0 hematcrit. I have been extremely fatigued and blood was found in my stool. Had stress test done on Monday (normal), Had Endoscopy done on Tuesday (two biopsies were taken. they are thinking "Celiac Disease). Sent home with advice to stop my aspirin and Plavix until I see cardiologist, April 10, 2007. Now comes the "abscessed tooth" that needs to be pulled asap. HOW LONG CAN I SAFELY BE OFF BOTH ASPIRIN AND PLAVIX? I ASKED TO BE PUT ON PLAVIX IN JANUARY AND HAVE BEEN TAKING ONE OTHER DAY..I WISH I THOUGHT OF TAKING ASPIRIN THE SAME WAY. IT IS VERY FRUSTRATING TO HAVE TO THINK EVERY WAKING MOMENT IF WHAT I'M DOING IS GOING TO AVOID A HEART ATTACK..why did I have to suggest this to my doctor when he knows my history. I brought him an entire copy of some of your Forum studies and he was not interested at all...I was very sad as I wanted to share with him all the knowledge I've learned.....ANY THOUGHTS that might help me sleep better..? As always, so appreciated for any advice you may have... "roommate" was a 68 year old women who had DES 2 years ago..Doctors took her off Plavix after one year and there she was ...back at hospital with heart attack...I'm scared.... God Bless and Thanks
Rosanne, Massachusetts, USA, March 15, 2007

• I am 63 years old, over-weight but otherwise quite fit, generally healthy and very active. I haven't ever smoked and I rarely drink alcohol. I had a bare metal stent fitted four years ago in England and a drug-eluting stent (DES) fitted two years ago in Florida. After the first I was put on aspirin and simvastatin, after the DES on Plavix, aspirin and Carvedilol (my cholesterol was then at an all time low, so no simvastatin was required). When testing me prior to the second stent, my first stent was found to be fully open. I started having heart fibrillations (rapid heartbeats and excessively strong pulses) about 2 months after having the second stent fitted. They occurred infrequently but were very worrying although they lasted only about a minute every time. I guessed that the medication cocktail was to blame but my US doctor's simple solution proved correct, I had to stop drinking coffee (I was then drinking about 6 to 8 cups a day). Perhaps I have been lucky but in spite of switching between originals and generics many times, after two years medication, I can't report any side-effects at all from the Plavix and aspirin combination :-) Unfortunately(?) my new National Health Service doctor has just decided that I don't need the (free of cost to me) Plavix any longer, citing a "normal" 12 months term for this medication and the high cost to the NHS! I am very concerned but after reading this forum I intend to ask my doctor to give me Plavix and a referral to visit a cardiologist with a view to having a nuclear stress test to establish my current condition and recommendations on future medication. Am I doing the right thing?
David Kerry, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, March 14, 2007

• Dr. Dixon -- the study reported in NEJM that you refer to is the CHARISMA study. You can read our "Patient Alert", issued the morning after the results were announced at the ACC meeting last year and which were then mis-reported by the popular press (not the NEJM). The patient population for whom there was no significant benefit were those who had no evidence of coronary artery disease. The CHARISMA study was undertaken to see if there was a preventative effect from the combination -- and, as you note, there wasn't an additional benefit over aspirin alone. However, the results DO NOT apply to patients with drug-eluting stents -- quite the opposite. All DES patients should continue their Plavix and aspirin until their cardiologist recommends stopping. Doctors have reported to us that unfortunately some patients read the popular press headlines back in March 2006 and stopped taking Plavix on their own, some with unfortunate results: heart attacks from stent thrombosis.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 14, 2007

• The New England Journal of Medicine of March 12, 2006 reported a large study on the plavix/aspirin controversy. Their conclusion was that there was no significant benefit in taking plavix over aspirin alone. Not only was my cardiologist unaware of this (and disbelieving), but he had prescribed 500mg of aspirin with the expensive Plavix. For those who cannot tolerate low dosage aspirin, there are some very benign alternatives, such as Vitamin E and also nattokinease. Unfortunately your doctor will likely not be aware of these either. Some promising answers to the plaque problem include anti-inflammatories as preventative and ellagic acid or citrus pectin for removal.
Dr Jack Dixon, Ft Lauderdale, Florida, USA, March 14, 2007

• Well I knew it wouldn't last forever. Walgreens stopped offering generic clopidogrel, stating that the court injunction against Apotex required them to clear their shelves. So it's back to the ultra-expensive name-brand Plavix for me. I suppose I shouldn't complain - I was able to use the generic from 8/06 until a few days ago. So I saved some money at least. My share of the cost after insurance was $12/30 pills for generic. Now it's $37/30 pills for Plavix brand.
Kevin, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, March 12, 2007

• Paul -- the recommendation for uncoated stent, also known as bare metal stents, is antiplatelet therapy (Plavix and aspirin) for 4-6 weeks. This differs from the drug-eluting or drug-coated stents. So your aunt is pretty much at the stopping point. That being said, we always suggest that the surgeons and interventional cardiologist consult about stopping antiplatelet therapy. We would recommend consulting the interventional cardiologist who implanted the stents regarding when or even if she should resume Plavix. Each patient is an individual case, and some patients are at higher risk for bleeding than others.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 11, 2007

• My 80 year old Aunt had three cardiac uncoated stents implanted about 5 weeks ago. She is scheduled for vascular surgery, in one week, to clear blockages (with stents) in her leg. She was told to stop taking, aspirin and Plavix, 5 days before the currently scheduled vascular procedure. Does the risk of excessive bleeding during the vascular procedure outweigh the risk of blood clots forming in the cardiac stents due to the stoppage of aspirin & Plavix?
Paul D., Syracuse, New York, USA, March 7, 2007

To: Dave W , England Yes I too am in the UK, and was started on Simvastatin after my first Stent back in Dec 2005. Although I never thought my chol was particularly high. I`m still on it at 20mg day, last Tot chol was 155 with LDL at 99, which although not ideal is i feel as low as i can get it, without upping statin dose which I don`t want to do.
TM, UK, March 6, 2007

• D.M. -- a quick reaction is that numbness on the right side after an angioplasty/stent procedure would seem more likely a result of the femoral puncture (if the catheters were inserted through the right groin area). Reactions to Plavix tend to be more of a rash or bleeding. See our Forum Topic on "Femoral nerve damage or other complications from angiogram or angioplasty" for more info. This may be due to a nerve trauma and should pass, but definitely report this to the cardiologist who did the procedure.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 5, 2007

• After placement of one drug-eluting stent, I am experiencing numbness on my right side (only) from mid-chest down to my toes. The right foot is very tingly. The fingertips on my right hand are slightly tingly. If the numbness is related to the Plavix, is this a side effect that may go away in time or is it likely to persist as long as I am on the Plavix? I am on the following drugs: Plavix (75 mg), aspirin (325 mg), Lisinopril (5 mg), Isosorbide ( mg), Lipitor ( mg).
D.M., Ohio, USA, March 5, 2007

To Corrine B (Malta) on the eye bleeding. After my DES in Oct. 2005, I had a nose bleed for 24 hours resulting in going to the E.R. and having my nose packed. The next morning I woke up with a blood clot in my left eye...Seems my left side was affected by my angina attack. The clot covered my entire eye and lasted six weeks. CT scans were done to be safe brain was not bleeding. I just want to stress the need to "check out anything" that you are not comfortable with, with you Dad..Plavix can cause bleeding and bruising. I've recently (after my first year anniversary of DES) now take my Plavix every other day and the nose bleeds are less frequent..Good Luck and God Bless...
Rosanne G, Stoneham, Massachusetts, USA, March 2, 2007

• P.B. -- bruising is another name for hematoma -- which means bleeding beneath the skin surface. It is a known side-effect of Plavix. It may not be serious, but you should contact your prescribing physician and let him/her know what's happening. An alternative antiplatelet drug is Ticlid (ticlopidine) which may have similar effects, but let your doctor know -- and let us know what they say.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 2, 2007

• My 41 yr old husband has had a mild MI a few weeks ago. He has a DES in Right Coronary Artery. He was ok'd to return to construction work which is physically demanding. He is getting fairly large bruises on abdomen (size of tennis ball), arms, etc. Should I be alarmed? Plavix mentions bruising as a side effect. When should I be concerned? I feel like I need to call them everyday. Thanks for any advice.
P.B., Florida, USA, February 28, 2007

• "Educated" -- quite right you are. Angioplasty.Org posted a "Patient Alert" the morning after the CHARISMA study results were presented last March -- and the news media did a horrible job of mis-reporting (we mean they did a great job of MIS-reporting!) and headlines like "Plavix and Aspirin: A Deadly Combo" went flying around the country. Wrong! And we've been told by more than one cardiologist that a patient of theirs, reading the headlines, decided to stop taking Plavix, and proceeded to have a heart attack. By the way, it took the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association four more days to issue their own "Alerts" and another day or two for the press to acknowledge the error.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 27, 2007

• Harold - The media that you might be referring to could be results from the CHARISMA study that was released a year ago. The study looked at two different groups of patients. The first group were patients that have had a stroke, MI or PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease) and the second group were patients that had the risk factors, but haven't had an actual event or PAD. Plavix did not fair well with the second group and is not recommended for that group. Which Plavix is not indicated for the second group of patients to begin with.
Educated in this area, Saginaw, Michigan, USA, February 27, 2007

To John from New Hampshire...your story sure sounds like my life in Oct. of 2005. Same situation..I live in Stoneham MA..Just want to say thank you for sharing your thoughts as I can only share my concerns with other DES patients. Family members really do not "get it".....Stay well and stay educated on the effects of our meds....My prayers for all of us to remain well.....
Rosanne G., Stoneham, Massachusetts, USA, February 26, 2007

• Harold, I am also on Plavix for DES Stents, and have been on it for a year. It looks like I may stay on it indefinitely. If I were you I would consult immediately with my cardiologist about stopping it! I certainly wouldn't stop anything based on ads from attorneys who have a big financial interest in suing! You may be seriously risking sudden heart attack or worse without plavix.
Tom T., Arizona, USA, February 26, 2007

• My aunt died from a massive GI bleed just two weeks after being put on plavix and aspirin. She was scheduled for her angioplasty at the end of this month. Her blockage was very small according to the cardiologist. We are still in shock. Anyone heard anything like this happening before?
Dee T., USA, February 26, 2007

• The media articles I was referring to that instigated my choice to stop taking Plavix were the TV ads by attorney's stating that it has been known to cause strokes, heart attacks and death. Than some of the newer ads are stating that its Plavix and drug eluding (?) stents. Which was what I had installed in Feb. '06. If I remember correctly the first newspaper article I read was out of the Chicago area regarding the Plavix problem. I searched for more info but wasn't able to find much. Afterwards I began to see those TV ads from attorney's. I usually measure my emotional response to new medications by what I perceive physically. Even though they may not be accurate.
Harold, Joshua Tree, California, USA, February 24, 2007

• Just had 4th angio. Like prior 3 I was put on Plavix despite my protest. Like the other times I developed rosacea in my eyelids within hours of taking Plavix. I have purple circles around my eyes and my vision is blurred. I have to take this stuff for 7 days. I am on a rosacea drug Orecea which was working but is now being defeated by Plavix. I was told I have acne in my eyelids from Plavix.
Tom Pettit, Wilton, Connecticut, USA, February 23, 2007

• Hi i am from Uk i had stent angioplasty in 2000 after a heart attack. I have have been on plavix since and been told i will be on plavix for the rest of my life,i was also on aspirin but after 4 years my stomach couldn't take it anymore the Doctor said it was a risk either way but he thought it would be a bigger risk if i carried on taking there anyone on here who knows how much risk i am running by not taking aspirin. God Bless
Sylvia, UK, February 21, 2007

• Harold -- what media articles motivated you to STOP Plavix. Most of the news has been how you need to stay on it longer than originally thought -- assuming you are not at risk for bleeding, many cardiologists are prescribing it for life. If you are experiencing angina, now a year since you were stented, you should contact your cardiologist. He/she can also look through all your med (including over-the-counter) and assess whether you're having any drug reaction.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 20, 2007

• Had angioplasty performed Feb. 20, 2006. Doctor prescribed Plavix 75 mg an Aspirin 81 mg. afterwards. Except he stated instead of being on Plavix for only two months (which was average) he stated that he wanted me on it for at least nine (9) months. Well it's been a year today and I'm still taking Plavix. However, I have stopped taking it at least twice for two weeks up to a month on my own volition because of articles I read in the media. Am currently taking Isosorbide to also help with any angina I have. Along with CAD I have COPD or emphysema and the medications that go with that problem. At times I'm not sure if medication(s) for one problem isn't causing problems for the other one. I have experienced strange flutterings or sensations in my chest or breathing almost every morning. Lately, more minimal angina the last week. Causing me to use Nitro tabs to be safe.
Harold, Joshua Tree, California, USA, February 20, 2007

• Had DES x2 fitted 02.02.07 in closed R/H coronary artery (dominant)prescribed Plavix 75mg + 75mg aspirin (dispersible) + 40 mg Simvastatin (anti cholesterol) all seems to be well apart from slight cold/flu symptoms, had quick look through post's is anyone else on SIMVASTATIN ? everyone on the ward was put on this after 'op', I was told I will take this for rest of 'Life'
David W., England, UK, February 20, 2007

• did anyone have any side effects on the eye like bleeding while on Plavix? I am concerned about my father who says that he is seeing certain shadows. DOn't know what symptoms one can expect with bleeding of the eye.
Corrine B., Malta, February 20, 2007

• Hi all...Just caught up on everyone's concern. It sure is scary thinking about our DES and meds taken daily. I am still experiencing high blood pressure numbers..bottom number is always 90+. Saw some info on Caduet and will ask cardiologist if maybe taking this drug along with my diltiazem aka Tiazac will be helpful. I have been in bed and not feeling well at all for the past two weeks. Blood test show low crit, very low iron level due to nose bleeds from Plavix.(remember I have platelet dysfunction (ITP) and am in "catch 22"...I would like to know if the weird sensation I've been experiencing on my left side (I had 99% blockage and DES in Oct. 05) could be blockage from 60% that they did not stent? Stress test of a few months ago was normal. NO ONE (except my fellow stent patients here) know exactly what I'm saying when I say, MY LIFE HAS CHANGED SO MUCH since Angina came into my life. I am now taking Plavix, 81 mg baby aspirin, lipitor, 2 protonix (and yes, thank goodness for them), two iron pills, vitamin C, Tiazac for HBP, and I just started a multi vitamin (one a day for women) as I would like to have some energy to play with my grandchildren...I can't express my thanks enough to this Forum for all the information received as "doctors" do honestly "forget to tell us" all the side effects of the meds they put us on. MY doctor says I am so "side effect sensitive", it's difficult for me to try new drug. I am interested in Caduet...any comments???? any reaction if I should take two blood pressure meds to control my high blood pressure..AS ALWAYS, GOD BLESS... Rosanne
Rosanne G., Stoneham, Massachusetts, USA, February 19, 2007

• In July 2007 I was scheduled for a stent. Going on Plavix 30 days before that. The day before going into the hospital, I had a severe reaction to Plavix, i.e. swelling in my hands, itching and red whelps all over. Similar to allergic reaction to penicillin. After the stent, the Dr. put me on Ticlid to be taken for 3 months. Then on aspirin (baby). I have been highly allergic to aspirin all my life. I have been on the baby aspirin for one month and just lived a week of living hell from headaches, throwing up and extreme pain in my upper back. I am not taking anything now to thin my blood and I am concerned but I had rather die than live with the results of aspirin. I will be calling my Dr. on Monday 2/19/07 to let him know I had to stop the aspirin. What are my risks?
Rosalyn Roberts, Lakeland, Florida, USA, February 17, 2007

• If you get a rash after angioplasty, how do you know if it's from plavix allergy or contrast (iodine) allergy?
Patrick, Quebec, Canada, February 11, 2007

• I am a 47 year old male. I've just had my second angioplasty where I was given stent(s). The first was in January, 2004, when a 100% blockage was found in my Left Anterior Descending Artery, and I had a mild heart attack (MCI). I actually drove myself to the hospital, not seriously believing that I had a heart attack. Maybe some Angina, I thought. Two drug eluting stents were installed, must've been the Cypher because FDA hadn't approved the Taxus just yet. I was put on Plavix and I continued on Aspirin, which I had already been taking. I had to fight with the insurance company to stay on Plavix after my cardiologist recommended it. I needed a special letter to say "yeah, we weren't kidding with that prescription there, it's necessary." Other than those days when my prescription expired and three minor (knee and dental) surgeries where I stopped for three days each, I always took my Plavix and my aspirin. Over a year ago, I asked the Cardiologist, whom I had been seeing and paying out of pocket because he's "out of network", how do I keep an eye on another artery, the Right Coronary, where I had 60 per cent blockage at the time of my Angiogram, but not enough to warrant a stent. He said "next time we'll do a nuclear stress test". In December, I got a referral to an "in network" Cardiologist to do this test. He called me back and said there's blockage, better schedule another Angiogram. My old stents in the LAD were 100per cent blocked again, and the RCA was now 90 per cent. The new cardiologist told me point blank that if this got to 100 per cent also, "you would die". He said there is nothing that can be done about the blockage where the old stents are. 'It's like concrete" he said. So I'm relying on some collateral arteries to deliver blood to the left side, front of my heart, as the LAD is blocked, and if this new stent blocks up like the last one, I'll be dead in three years. He did say to get a nuclear stress test every year, but this is driving me crazy. Anyone else experience anything like this?
Patrick, California, February 10, 2007

J.J in New York........I have been on plavix and aspirin 325 mg since February of last year (One full year in one week.) In October of last year I was admitted with some GI symptoms and was advised to undergo a colonoscopy along with other GI procedures. Based on what I have read, since this was not an emergency and my symptoms resolved, I elected not to undergo the colonoscopy at that time because it required stopping the plavix and aspirin for five days before and after the procedure. It is obvious now that we are dealing with a relatively new problem (late stent thrombosis) and until that problem is more understood and resolved, drug-coated stent patients should play it safe and follow recommendations of at least one year on anticoagulants and always check with your cardiologist before stopping those meds for any kind of medical or dental procedure.
Jason B., California, USA, February 5, 2007

• I just had a medicated stent put in on January 24, 2007, where I had an 80% blockage. Presently i'm taking plavix (75mg), aspirin (325 mg), metoprolol, crestor, and lisinopril. My body is accepting all of the medications, except for the plavix. Within 2 hrs of taking I have a severe headache where the spine goes into the skull, weakness, slight heaviness in the chest, and can't think very clearly. Does anyone else have these symptoms when you take the plavix?
Bruce D., Utah, USA, February 4, 2007

• J.J. -- please read about the latest "Science Advisory" from all the major physician organizations regarding drug-eluting stents, Plavix and surgery.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 3, 2007

• My hubby has had 2 open heart surgeries and 5 stents-- now he may need a prostate biopsy- he would need to discontinue his plavix- and aspirin - i am so concerned-- he's really borderline for the biopsy- but it's been repeated a couple of times and it's always a little above what its supposed to be and he's 64
J.J., New York, USA, February 2, 2007

• I spoke to my father and received answers to the questions in your email:

  • April 2005 received first stent. It was Boston Scientific medicated
  • May 2006 stopped Plavix.
  • August 15, 2006 had heart attack - cause was "blockage at stent."
  • August 16, 2006 had second stent put in - same kind as above he thinks
  • For 30 days, he's pretty sure he was given a prescription for Plavix. [This was done Cleveland Clinic] However, from mid-September to the present, he has been taking the generic version.
  • Groin problem was in November/December.
  • Chest pains began in early January.
Ellen B., New York, USA, February 2, 2007

• Thank you for your quick response! Dad began the generic clopidogrel immediately after the second stent, in August - probably one of the first recipients of the generic. Up until six weeks before the heart attack, he had been on (non-generic) Plavix for the requisite one year after the first stent. Helping him investigate this has been an eye-opener (albeit a 20-20 hindsight kind of thing)! If his first stent had been put in less than a year ago he, most likely would never have been taken off the Plavix, which may very well have meant he would not have suffered the heart attack. Which could also have not given the doctors reason to switch him to a generic in the first place.As for your other questions, I will have to call him for the answers and get them to you. The site is great - I have already printed some info to mail to Dad (sadly, he's not computer savvy). Again, thank you for response!
Ellen B., New York, USA, January 30, 2007

• Ellen B. -- Sorry to hear about your father's experience.We have heard reports that generic clopidogrel and Plavix, even though they have been judged as being equivalent, seem to have different responses in some people. We've seen no studies to date with any data about this. A few patients on this Forum have reported allergic reactions to one and not the other. You say all his problems started with the generic clopidogrel, but when did he start taking that?? He had a heart attack, but had he been on generic clopidogrel before that? Curious, do you know what stent was used, Taxus, Cypher or a bare metal? Also, did the cardiologists give any cause of his heart attack. Do you know if it was caused by stent thrombosis (they may have been able to see this on the angiogram). He would be classified, given the new definitions for stent thrombosis, as probably having had this, especially since it was just six weeks after he stopped antiplatelet therapy. Finally, do you know what type of stent the second one post-heart attack) was? And how long after his MI was it put in?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 30, 2007

• My father, age 78, had a quadruple bypass 20 years ago. About 18 months ago, after a check-up, he had a stent put in and was taking Plavix for one year. They took him off Plavix last June or July and, within six weeks, he had a (his first ever) heart attack. They put in another stent and put him back on generic clopidogrel, beginning sometime in August of 2006. Since then, he has had a bout of severe groin pain with some blood in his urine, which seemingly has resolved itself. However, a couple of weeks ago he began having chest pains while exercising and he is scheduled for a stress test next week. I have been doing some research for him, and have read about all the hoopla around the Canadian generic clopidogrel, injunction, and BMS/Sanofi, etc. Obviously, his drug source has enough generic on hand to keep giving it to him, at least for the near future. My question is: Since all the problems have occurred since he was put on generic clopidogrel, wouldn't it make sense to put him back on Plavix? Might not he be one those few patients who respond better to the original version? Has anyone had an unfavorable (or parallel/similar) experience with the generic version of the drug?
Ellen B., New York, USA, January 30, 2007

• John -- glad you're feeling well -- you certainly did the right thing by getting to the hospital immediately. And you were lucky that the hospital performed angioplasty within 2 hours. Done in time, this procedure can save the heart muscle from dying -- something that was not really possible a couple decades ago. So you have already greatly reduced the problems you could be facing for the future. As for the drug cocktail, many are on similar regimens -- obviously you should report any suspected adverse reactions to your cardiologist. But there have been many benefits seen in numerous studies, especially for statins and clopidogrel. They do have downsides, and one for clopidogrel and aspirin is a tendency for bleeding. So this should be watched for. Unfortunately, raising the DES issues in the press is difficult on patients who have been given these. The reality is that the problem of late stent thrombosis is pretty rare -- and the incidence that has been seen would be even lower if all patients stayed on dual antiplatelet therapy longer. This is not to say there is no risk or that Plavix and aspirin will completely eliminate the risk. But it's very small. Also from your description (90% blockage in a single artery) you are the ideal case -- one that would be considered "on-label" and the incidence of problems would be even lower. So take all the steps you can to reduce your risk factors (diet, exercise, no smoking, etc.) and stay well. Keep in touch and let us know how you're doing.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 30, 2007

• I'm a 54 year old male in good health but a bad family history of heart disease who had one DES Cypher stent implanted in October 2006 for a 90% blockage in one artery. I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance with chest pains, which subsided when given Nitro in the ambulance, and the procedure was done locally within about 2 hours of my initial pain. Daily, I'm taking 75 Plavix, 20 Lipitor, 25 Atenolol, 10 Fosinopril, and 325 aspirin. Aside from the anxiety resulting from reading about the DES stent issues, I feel well and am back to normal. My concern is the effect of taking so many medications virtually indefinitely. Have there been any studies regarding the long term health effects of the standard drug cocktail that many of us are taking?
John, New Hampshire, USA, January 30, 2007

To Rick: Ref Coumadin/Plavix/Aspirin Hi mate, I have been on all 3 drugs (5mg/75mg/80mg) per day. I too have 24/7 AF and now 2 stents. In the UK no-one has told me to stop any of these, so I continue to take all 3 daily. I do have the odd bruise from nowhere, but to date not so bad.... I am of course ultra careful. After the last DES i was told to take 325mg Aspirin per day for 6 weeks which I did, and didn`t seem to be any different to when taking 80mg day.
Tel, United Kingdom, January 29, 2007

• My cardiologist recommends that I NOT take generic Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate). Has anyone else received the same advice? Is the generic as good as the branded Plavix, or is there some problem with it that causes it to be less effective or more dangerous than the branded Plavix?
Jim Morris, Tampa, Florida, USA, January 28, 2007

• I am feeling horrible, cold hands pains in both legs and an electrical charge through my body. I had a medicated heart stent put in a year ago and it has been down hill since then. I have lost 50 pounds. I now have nerve damage and I believe it is from the stent procedure. It was excruciating pain when they removed the wire from the angiogram.The plavix is killing me making me so cold and freezing especially at around 7 at night. Is anyone else feeling these symptoms.
Ken, Ontario, Canada, January 28, 2007

• AVALIDE..has anyone had neurologic side effects on this drug, stoke like migraine, tremors, stuttering, any times of mental deficit? thank you
J.R., Pennsylvania, USA, January 28, 2007

• A reply to Janelle in OK: Yes, I am having the swollen veins in my legs. I have had huge clots form. The cardiologist said they were only surface clots and not to worry..! Easy for him to say! One bruised from mid calf to ankle and the lump was as big as the end of my thumb. I have had several since my DES in June. I am on Plavix, Aspirin and Vytorin.
Joyce, Indiana, USA, January 27, 2007

• Since my stenting I have been on plavix/ aspirin for two years now and feel fine. I will continue on plavix as I think the worry that would result in me stopping the drug would cause me undue stress. Stress I believe is one thing that produces so many unwanted side effects.
Ian D , Scotland, UK, January 27, 2007

• Rick -- very timely question. A study in the current issue of Annals of Internal Medicine reviews the current data about combining aspirin and an oral anticoagulant (OAC) like Coumadin in what's called a meta-analysis. The authors conclude that there seemed to be no benefit to the combo over the OAC alone, except in patients with a mechanical heart valve. The downside was the increased risk of bleeding complications. This was not a study involving drug-eluting stents, however, but one would probably rightly conclude that Plavix, Coumadin and aspirin together would put a patient at more risk for bleeding. What combination of drugs are best for a DES patient with AFIB? This is something each patient needs to discuss with his/her cardiologist and it sound like you've been doing this. Your doctor knows you best, and as Dr. Eric Topol recently said, "There are guidelines, but then there is still the art of medicine."
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 27, 2007

• Where does Coumadin fit in as far being useful in place of plavix. After 14 months on Plavix and aspirin I am on 7.5 Mg Coumadin and 81 MG Aspirin daily. The coumadin is to treat my AFIB but the cardiologist stopped the Plavix stating that the Coumadin and the Aspirin was sufficient. Is this a reasonable approach or would all three be too much (i.e. Aspirin/Plavix and Coumadin)?
Rick, New York, USA, January 24, 2007

• Lynn -- coincidentally enough, on January 17, the various professional medical societies published a joint "Science Advisory" about caution in stopping antiplatelet therapy. One of the organizations was the American Dental Association. The document states:

"Given the relative ease with which the incidence and severity of oral bleeding can be reduced with local measures during surgery (eg, absorbable gelatin sponge and sutures) and the unlikely occurrence of bleeding once an initial clot has formed, there is little or no indication to interrupt antiplatelet drugs for dental procedures."

Guess the Advisory has not found its way to your dentist. We certainly suggest, as does the "Advisory", to go back on your Plavix immediately. You should also call your dentist and educate him/her. Someone has to.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 23, 2007

• I am curious-I have been on Plavix/Aspirin since MI in 12/2004. Several stents later, my original DES started to close in 10/06. Another DES was inserted to re-open. Now I have been off Plavix for 5 days for dental work. Someone pointed out that it had not been 6 months since last stent. Is this increasing my danger for thrombosis? My dr. says one more time and it is open heart for me. I have a total of 7 stents-5 DES and 2 BMS. Any answer would be appreciated.
Lynn J., South Carolina, USA, January 16, 2007

Reply to Sally in England - Went back into my cardiologist today with the similar issue - itching, rash from Plavix. It's interesting that my itching and rash only affects me where clothing touches the body. No rash on face, forearms, etc. He told me that Plavix can cause an increased sensitivity in the skin than can trigger to a rash with clothing washed in certain types of detergents and fabric softener, with the product Bounce being a common culprit. Came back today - rewashed the clothing in plain water, I'll let you know how it goes. You also might want to try something like Claritin or Benadryl for the itch. Good Luck
John A Gowing, Melbourne, Florida, USA, January 15, 2007

• S.M. in NY -- Ticlid (ticlopidine) and Plavix (clopidogrel) are related, but allergic reactions are not necessarily the same. Most cardiologists we've talked to will try Ticlid if the patient cannot tolerate Plavix. One reason Plavix became widely used is that Ticlid did tend to have more adverse reactions. But In Japan, Ticlid is the antiplatelet therapy of choice. One cardiologist recently told us that he was surprised at how well a number of his patients tolerated Ticlid. Have your wife's doctors ruled it out? As for IVUS (intravascular ultrasound) being "dangerous" inside a stent...that would be news to highly-regarded angioplasty pioneer Dr. Antonio Colombo of Milan, who recently stated he will now use IVUS on every stent case he does. Cardiologists who use IVUS specifically use it to inspect stent placement -- in other words the whole point of IVUS in these cases is to look inside the stent. What your wife's doctor may have meant was that using IVUS is done during an angiogram, and in your wife's case, there was no reason to do that because no new information that would help your wife would be gained. (Question: does her cardiologist have an IVUS system? -- only 12% of cath labs currently have this capability). See if a different drug relieves some symptoms. But if she is still having adverse reactions, you might want to look at our topic on Allergic Reactions to Drug-Eluting Stents.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 15, 2007

Update on wife. She had three taxus stents in July. She developed severe reaction (burning muscle pain insomnia, upset stomach, feeling close to death) to plavix after about one month in. Has been off now for two months. She feels fine now except for residual burning pain and general weakness. One doc says she has just a 1% chance of a clot another says she has little protection with just aspirin. Also one doc says using the IVUS can be dangerous to use especially inside stented areas. Also she did have another angiogram and doc said they couldn't check collateral values because of no blockages. What alternative options are there for a patient with taxus drug stents who can't tolerate antiplatelet drugs except aspirin? I hear if you are allergic to one you are to all because of ticlid molecule.
S.M., New York, USA, January 15, 2007

• I've had a problem with my RCA now for 10 years. Balloon angioplasty in 96 and 98, two stents in 02, two more cobalt stents plus brachytherapy in 03, and most recently 3 DES Jan 11 07. In 03 I was given Plavix for a year with no negative effects. I was put back on Plavix after the DES, and now look like a well done Maine Lobster from neck to knees. Heading for the doc tomorrow for desensitization discussions. My cousin is an internal medicine guy, and says that it is not unusual to take a drug with no ill effects and then develop a problem later on. In all my other cath lab encounters I felt much better immediately following the procedure, after this one much worse. I believe it is the reaction to Plavix. From what I read, I MUST stay on Plavix, Ticlid probably not a good substitute. I'm fiddling now with Benadryl and Pepcid. I read a post somewhere that someone had success with Altarax. Anyone had any similar issues?
John A Gowing, Melbourne, Florida, USA, January 14, 2007

• George, you are correct -- there have been documented cases of Coenzyme Q 10 (ubiquinone) interacting with Warfarin, reducing the anti-coagulant effects of Warfarin below the therapeutic level. Haven't found specific studies on Plavix, aspirin and ubiquinone, but one might be concerned that it could negate some of the antiplatelet qualities of those. You can get an INR (International Normalized Ratio) test done, to determine if in fact the ubiquinone is affecting your thrombin levels.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 14, 2007

• My cousin had a medicated stent implanted 2 months ago and was put on 75mg Plavix and 325mg aspirin daily along with Zocor .. unknown mg .. and has just spent the last 3 days in the hospital after coming down with a horrific rash with blotches all over his body and then started to shake uncontrollably! They took him OFF of the Plavix and switched him to Ticlid .. and while he is still in the hospital, is beginning to see the rash and blotching subside. BE CAREFUL PEOPLE!! Doctors don't always know what the meds will do to you. ASK QUESTIONs and KEEP A DAILY LOG ON WHAT YOUR SYMPTOMS OR LACK THEREOF ARE as you take new meds. I myself have 5 stents, 4 without meds and the last one with meds. Nobody ever told me what kind, so I can't relay that info. I take 75mg Plavix and 81mg coated aspirin along with a Protonix to keep the BURNING sensation out of my esophagus and abdominal tract!! Thank goodness they discovered Protonix .. I was in agony before taking it. I also take a Cozaar and 1/2 of a bisoprolol every night before bed. I experience several situations from these meds. Insomnia, mild headaches, some ear ringing (not continual), extreme mouth dryness upon waking (IF I was able to sleep!), lack of energy, eye irritation, NIGHTMARES and continual stream dreaming if I can sleep. I used to take a 100mg Co-enzyme Q 10 daily along with Folic Acid and 50mg B-complex and 1000mcg B12 .. after my second heart attack and starting on the Plavix/Aspirin combo .. I read somewhere that taking the Co Q 10 could cause either CLOTTING OR SEVERE BLEEDING .. so I stopped taking it. NOW I FEEL SO RUN DOWN .. when I took it, I felt like I was 10 yrs younger. IF anyone knows the truth about taking Co Q10 with Plavix/Aspirin .. PLEASE LET ME KNOW! Thanks
George D., cardiac patient/relative of cardiac patients, New Jersey, USA, January 14, 2007

• 48 yrs old, DES Stent 10-06, 80% LAD blockage. On Plavix, Aspirin, Vytorin. Had blood vessel swell huge on inside of forearm then hematoma spread out about half dollar size. Happened also on leg below knee. Doctor thinks it has to do with my meds + my workout program (body builder, but nothing extreme). Has anyone else had this thrombosis vein swelling problem? Curious, Janelle
Janelle, Del City, Oklahoma, USA, January 10, 2007

• I had a stent inserted after an angioplasty on the 11th Dec. 2006. Three days later I couldn't stop itching. As I have R. Arthritis I was on an anti inflammatory which I thought might have caused this. I stopped this and the itching continued for a few days then stopped, though my skin feels sensitive. Everything I eat tastes strange and metallic. My arms and hands are so bad with R. Arthritis that I now can't dress myself, do my hair or look after myself. As I am registered Blind with Glaucoma this is very worrying. I was not told about needing Plavix before the procedure and am now worried that I could have more problems with my eyes . I am 53 years old and have had many ops to keep my sight. I am hoping to see my cardiologist to help with my not being able to look after myself. As I live on my own my boyfriend and young daughter are trying to help me. Has any one had similar problems?
Sally, England, January 10, 2007

• Ellen -- the FDA-mandated labeling for drug-eluting stents states that Plavix (clopidogrel) and aspirin should be taken for 3 months if you have a Cypher (sirolimus) stent and 6 months if you have the Taxus (paclitaxel). That's the FDA, and whether or not to change this language was the subject of a major debate during the recent FDA stent safety panel meeting. The current recommendations from the three major professional organizations (the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, collectively known as the AHA/ACC/SCAI Guidelines) restate these minimums, but add that ideally patients at low risk for bleeding complications should be given Plavix for up to a year. Some cardiologists now prescribe Plavix for longer, some for life. Again, this assumes the patient is at low risk for bleeding.

Paul from New Hampshire (posted on November 28, 2006) wrote in again regarding two questions that have not been addressed in the Forum. So we'll try. The first, "is it possible to check to see if all the stents have properly endothelialized?" Short answer: "not easily". There is a technology called intravascular ultrasound, which takes ultrasound images from inside the artery. It's sometimes used during stent placement by cardiologists who feel it offers reassurance that the stent has been fitted correctly (for more on this, read the recent feature on Angioplasty.Org, titled "Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) Imaging Technology May Help Lower Rates of Late Stent Thrombosis"). It should be possible with this technology to also go back in later on and see if the stent struts have been covered by the endothelial layer. This would have to be done during an angiogram, so it's an entire interventional procedure, done in the cath lab. Theoretically this could be done if there is a strong enough reason (there are risks associated with all medical procedures, even minimally invasive ones) not to mention the expense.

Paul's second question was "I'm wondering if a voluntary bypass might be a good idea considering the DES danger? Would a bypass make a difference if the stents thrombosed later on?" Bypass surgery is major surgery with risks associated with it. Unless there is an urgent reason to have it, I doubt if any physician would recommend doing this on a "voluntary" basis. Certainly not, considering the risk of late stent thrombosis is very small, much lower than the mortality/morbidity risk of any major operation.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 10, 2007

• how long after stent deployment should patients without a heart attack patient without any further problems take plavix?
Ellen, Indiana, USA, January 10, 2007

• Jane -- couldn't agree with you more. Unless, of course, it's an emergency situation, patients should be consulted and queried strongly PRIOR to stent placement about allergies, ability to tolerate aspirin and Plavix, etc. What does your cardiologist say about your husband's allergy to aspirin. Plavix and aspirin act differently as anti-platelet drugs. Secondly, all package inserts for all stents (bare metal AND DES) clearly state that stents are contraindicated in patients with known allergies to stainless steel. Finally, how to tell the difference between drug allergies and drug-eluting stent? We are participating in a study (see sidebar) to find a test that will do just that. If you think this might be the case, send an email for more info.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 8, 2007

• On Jan 30th, 2006 my 51 year old husband has a des stent put in (Cypher). He had a triple bypass 3 years ago, but the artery they did not bypass was slowly closing. He has been on Plavix the last 3 years and now he is red from head to toe. He is itching and feels like he is going crazy. He is very angry. As a Registered Nurse he felt that he should have been consulted regarding what they would put into his heart (this should be for any patient) before and not after the fact. We have an appointment with his primary care dr. tomorrow. I called the Cardiologist today and they told me to get him to his primary care Dr. WHY? I feel the cardiologist should see the after effects of his work. I am not blaming the Cardiologist. My husband is a diabetic and this is supposed to be the best stent for him. I do have a couple of questions though. My husband is highly allergic to aspirin, goes into shock if he takes it, so if he goes to another drug like plavix without the benefit of aspirin will that be enough? The second question, has anyone ever had a reaction to the metal in a stent (des or bare metal) The reason I am asking is there are times when a metal watchband will make my husband's arm break out, and this rash was on his body within 8 hours of the de stent being put in. I guess i have 3 questions. How does a physician tell the difference between a plavix reaction and a person's body actually not tolerating the stent for what ever reason. Thank you very much.
Jane, Westerville, Ohio, USA, January 8, 2007

• J.B. -- we're assuming you're not talking about a coronary stent, but one connected to the dialysis. Have you reported this pain to your physician? Specific foot pain may be an indicator of some type peripheral disease. Various tests can be done to diagnose the cause, but we haven't heard of Plavix causing a pain in such a specific location. We advise you see your doctor.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 8, 2007

• My husband is a dialysis patient. He has a fistula and a stent had to be inserted two weeks ago. He now has severe pains in the foot arch on both feet. It feels like razor blades are cutting him. The only thing different is Plavix. Could this be the cause?
J.B., USA, January 8, 2007

• I am writing in response to my mother. She had 2 stents put in in July 2006. Three weeks later everything she ate or drank tasted metallic. After more that than 3 months of testing and a 36 lb. weight loss we were to an end and did not think we would ever find an answer. After talking to the cardiologist again and again I begged him to take her off of Plavix and try something else. He put her on Ticlid and I am so happy to say my mother is much better after being off Plavix. It took about 3 weeks or more for the metallic taste to leave, but she can eat or drink most anything. I don't know if this will help anyone else, but we never dreamed it would be the Plavix.
Debbie Elder, Vincent, Ohio, USA, January 7, 2007

Wil -- not taking Plavix and aspirin after implantation with a drug-eluting stent is definitely not recommended. Just read any of the many articles on this site -- the main risk factor for late stent thrombosis is non-compliance with aspirin/Plavix. There is no data to suggest that aspirin has a negative effect on healing -- it's main function is to keep platelets from gathering together and forming a clot. And Gary, 50% blockage is a very grey area. Most cardiologists probably would agree with yours. The question is whether the blockage has a functional effect -- i.e. is it stopping blood flow, causing ischemia to the heart muscle or putting you at risk for a heart attack. Each case has to be evaluated individually. For example, a 50% blockage in a alrge vessel probably isn't having a great effect, where a 50% blockage in a narrow one might.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 7, 2007

• A generic company started to sell the generic version of Plavix, Clopidogrel, against the patent in August 2006 and should be off of the shelves by February. The generic version has caused many issues with serious itching and rash. If you are having an allergic reaction check your bottle and make sure you are on Plavix and not Clopidogrel. Have your doctor write you a new script that has "Dispense as Written" on it. Comment to Salim - Your cardiologist has kept you on Plavix and asa for a reason and you see what happened with your brother. If you start cutting the Plavix tablet in half it will not reach it's steady state and will not have the effect that it has for you already. Plavix slows the healing process with your stents and prevents the blockages. Also, if you were to have a plaque burst inside your artery it would help to prevent a heart attack or stroke. Please talk to your cardiologist before you start changing your medication.
Educated in this area, Concerned for your health, Saginaw, Michigan, USA, January 6, 2007

• To all patients with possible Plavix allergies -- try Ticlid. It was the drug used before Plavix, but some patients tolerate it better (and some worse). Ticlid is the antiplatelet drug of choice in Japan. Certainly, do not go off your prescribed antiplatelet medication by yourselves. If you are having problems, talk to your doctor. Ask if there are alternatives. And share your knowledge by letting us know.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 6, 2007

• I started Plavix after triple DE Stents in Jan. 2006. I was not aware of related problems until a urinary infection 11 mos. later. But now after stopping Plavix, other problems like flu or allergy syndrome, itching, wheezing, are all gone. I have not felt this good since the DES procedure.
Leo R, Montreal, Canada, January 4, 2007

• Started Plavix Sept 30, 06 and 81 mg aspirin daily, have had a headache everyday since. No HB pressure, MRI, CT scans all normal. Dr's don't know what is causing the headaches. Tempted to go off Plavix and see if there is a change. Cardio is adamant that i stay on Plavix and is convinced that Plavix does not cause headaches. In general, they don't, but maybe in my case, they have. Your thoughts.
C.M., Nova Scotia, Canada, January 1, 2007

add your response
Please keep your posting concise. For readability we limit responses to 1,200 characters. Also note that The Forum is not an "ask-a-doctor" service; we do not dispense medical
advice about a patient's specific situation. Read our disclaimer and note that no information
on this Forum should be viewed as a substitute for medical advice or as a consultation
with a medical doctor
: characters left

Forum name -- how do you want to be identified on your post (Required) your email address (Required):
email address must be current and valid; if email sent to the address
below is returned, your comments will not be posted; your email address
will not be displayed on the Forum unless you specifically request it: please enter your email address again (for verification)
geographic location (city, state, province and/or country -- Required):
REQUIRED -- Check the box below to let us know you are a "real human being" and not a spambot. You must check this box for your posting to be submitted: I am a real person and not a spambot The following information is optional. your name:

your organization:
Check the box below if you wish Angioplasty.Org to "anonymize" your posting (for example, John Doe, Baltimore, Maryland, USA would become John D., Maryland, USA): please anonymize me To submit your post, please click the button below once and wait for a confirmation.
Clicking more than once will result in multiple submissions.