Clopidogrel (Plavix®)

Clopidogrel (brand name: Plavix) is a blood thinner sometimes used in the treatment of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs). Clopidogrel is an oral medication that can be used in combination with aspirin and other MPN treatments and is used to prevent abnormal blood clots, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Clopidogrel works by inhibiting platelets from clumping (known as aggregating) and triggering a clot to form. In patients with MPNs, the overproduction of blood cells and their abnormal mixture in the blood increases the risk of experiencing a harmful blood clot. By acting as a platelet inhibitor clopidogrel reduces the chance of a clot forming. Treatment with clopidogrel is often used in patients who have previously experienced a heart attack or stroke. Like all medications that can interfere with normal blood clotting, clopidogrel use also increases the risk of bleeding. It is important to discuss these risks and potential benefits with your physician to assess whether clopidogrel is an appropriate therapy for you.

Side Effects

  • Abnormal or unusual bleeding, bruising. Red or purple spots on the skin, varying in size from pinpoint to large red or dark purple bruises. Rarely bleeding from the nose or intestines.
  • Chest pain
  • Itching, pain, redness, or swelling
  • Pain in general
  • Problems with vision, speech, or walking

Additional Information:

Richard T. Silver MD Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Center 525 East 70th St., Starr Pavillion, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10021