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.