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How Long to Take Plavix (Clopidogrel) After a Stent?

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Q. I had a heart attack. My HMO sent me to a hospital 40 milles away. A stent was inserted and Plavix was prescribed for three months and I was to see a local cardiologist in 3 weeks.

The local cardiologist directed me to stop taking Plavix. Three months later I had another heart attack which became much more complicated. I was admitted to two different hospitals four different times within two weeks. The stent was replaced and I was advised to take Plavix for 12 months. What are the standards for taking Plavix?

Seattle Senior

A. We felt unprepared to answer your question about Plavix (clopidogrel) ourselves since this is a complex and somewhat controversial issue. To do you justice, we consulted two of the country's leading cardiologists. They would prefer to remain anonymous, but they are without a doubt authorities in this field. Here are their comments:

CARDIOLOGIST # 1:

"The CURE Trial (NEJM 2001) showed a 20% reduction in recurrent MI [heart attack], death and stroke when given for 12 months after an acute MI.

"It's appropriate therapy for this patient assuming there are no unusual bleeding risks."

"It is hard to say whether stopping Plavix led to the second heart attack...but it is a reasonable question to ask."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

CARDIOLOGIST # 2

"Always hard to say much without seeing the patient to know all the factors
involved, but the general recommendation is dual anti platelet therapy for
at least 3 months, and in general one year for drug eluting stents,
although the data for this are equivocal."

We followed this answer up with more questions:

So...does this mean that at one year and one day after a patient gets a
drug eluting stent he should stop Plavix?
Plavix isn't completely benign.

Given that the data are equivocal...what kind of recommendations make
sense?

Do you think we will we ever have some clarity on this rather crucial
question?

CARDIOLOGIST # 2'S FOLLOW-UP ANSWERS:

"85% of major decisions lack high-level evidence. The trials are
being done. Plavix isn't benign but a thromboses [clogged] stent is a disaster."

"How long to take a chronic treatment is a problem in every field and good trials
of stopping are rarely done."

"There are really good observational studies with conflicting results."

"Stents are changing and the duration probably should change as a function
of 2 factors: 1) stent type; 2) underlying risk of a new event (mostly
determined by extent of CAD [coronary artery disease])."

"For today's DES [drug eluting stents] I would continue for one year and then assess; if all was stable, I had a good exercise tolerance, no symptoms and no multi vessel
disease I'd stop at that point."

"The trials are in process."

+++++++++++++++++++++

Ultimately, the decision will depend upon your own cardiologist, but clearly this is a controversial topic and one that is in flux. Thanks for asking a very important question for which is there no perfect answer at this time.

You should be aware of some of the side effects associated with Plavix (clopidogrel). If you develop any symptoms while taking this drug please contact your MD promptly!


PLAVIX SIDE EFFECTS:

• Bleeding
(special danger with NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen-GI bleeding!)
• itching
• Blood disorders
• Serious allergic reactions
• Skin rash (contact physician immediately!)

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This question of taking Plavix or another blood thinner has come up with many of my friends. Since herbs such as Turmeric and Cayenne and even spices like Garlic have blood-thinning properties is there some reason why they couldn't be taken and the blood tested just as it is done with the Rx? Does Plavix do something else besides thin the blood?

I had a stent six plus years ago. It was a Taxus DES. I was on plavix for three years post stenting and my cardiologist retired. My new cardiologist was aghast and told me to go off immediately as there were side effects. I researched and decided to wean myself off. Within the month I started to have migraine symptoms which had all disappeared on plavix! Doctor said to take two 81mg. aspirin daily and the symptoms subsided. Makes you wonder. My research has shown there is some evidence Plavix helps migraine.

Yes it does. It makes the platelets slippery so they act differently and slide by one another hopefully instead of sticking and clumping together. After a stent you must take DAP - dual antiplatelet therapy which means Plavix (or one of the newer blood thinners) and aspirin because they work differently. VIP to take DAP until your doctor tells you to stop. Then it is scary. The stent can throw a clot and that is devastating for the patient.

when I had a "mild" TIA stroke in 2002, Plavix was all the rage. The only problem was my stroke was mild and my only caregiver was an internist who thought business as usual was appropriate. I finally changed internists about 2 yrs later to a much more proactive one. By that time I had been walking my dog 45 min. every day and had gone from 208 lbs to 175 (on my own, no medical guidance). The new internist immediately noticed that my total cholesterol was 135 and I was doing well on Vytorin and suggested that I stop Plavix.

I was very glad to as I had cut my forehead in an accident a few months before and had to drive myself to an Urgent Care. I used my long sleeve shirt as a tourniquet but I was really scared that the Plavix was going to cause me to bleed out before I got help. The staff at Urgent Care was great - they took me in immediately when I said I was on Plavix. Sixteen stitches and an hour later I was fine.

You do have to weigh the risks yourself - don't depend on the Dr. to do it for you!

had a DES in Fall '06, plavix & aspirin (+ the vitorin i'd been on for a year b4 that) for a year. now only vitorin (generic) & aspirin. doin' fine so far.

I had 3 DES (Promus) placed 12-10. Was placed on Plavix & 81 mg ASA. 15 months later Plavix was DC'd after a successful nuclear stress test. I now take 162 mg of ASA daily. I also did a year's worth of cardiac rehab Dr. Dean Ornish style and would highly recommend this to anyone who is willing to change their lifestyle.

After reading this website for several months and the "Screwups" book, it makes more sense than taking drugs. BTW, female readers: persist for answers if you have chest pain, especially if it isn't the classic elephant on the chest. And think back 6 months if asked about symptoms like shortness of breath-did you feel worse or better then?

Signed, would have been dead except for an RN friend w/ a cardiologist son 300 miles away.

There are so many opinions on taking Plavix and other drugs it is almost impossible to decide what to do. I know one thing. After being placed on Plavix, a beta blocker, an ace inhibitor, a calcium channel blocker, and a diuretic I feel absolutely terrible. I'm not sure they are all worth taking considering that the quality of life has been reduced drastically because of the side effects.

H- did the doctor say anything to you about life style changes before placing you on so many bp meds? I cannot speak as to whether or not the plavix is contributing to how you feel, but the others surely are. Tho I am not a medical care worker of any kind, I would suggest doing research on the net on how to drop bp by natural methods. Food and exercise are the first and the biggies.

Now that you know how loss of quality of life makes you feel, making constant small changes in your life style, taking your bp at home to track progress, and then taking evidence to the doctor of the effects of these changes, so that you can wean off some of the bp meds, will be easier for you. As you feel better, the changes may become easier and easier, until you have made a total turn around in your health. After looking into and beginning changes in diet and movement, don't forget to research supplements that have been known to help with cardiac health. With best wishes, Helen

dear sir, I am very suspicious as to why now after all these years, when there is no long term clinical trial to show if you can stop plavix after one year. have these patients been followed for at least four years, because I read you can have a thrombosis after 90 days or up to two years later because you stopped the plavix. what guarantee does the patient have it is ever safe to sstop.?

I had a DES (XIENCE V stent) placed in December 2011, due to a "mild" heart attack, caused by a 70% blockage. Was put on Clopidogrel (Plavix) aspirin (81mg) Dual therapy - Now, after 8 and a half months on the medication, my cardiologist says I can stop the Plavix (Clopidogrel) as new trials has recently proved that 6 months is a long enough time to take dual anti platelet therapy after receiving a drug eluting stent. I am PETRIFIED to go off now, as I still have 3 and half months left before the 12 months on plavix is up - However, I have to continue taking the aspirin daily.

Anyone been on Plavix/aspirin for the same length of time and then stopped? If so, what was the outcome - if any?

many thanks

I read the comments by the 2 cardiologists above, and on reading the comment regarding the 20% reduction of recurrent MI in patients who took Plavix for 12 months after stent placement? Well, 20% is low, very low, in other words, Plavix being very expensive, but there is still an 80% chance of recurrent MI????? 80% of patients could have recurrent MI?
Apologies, if I did not understand this correctly, but if it is correct, then why bother with plavix at all? and not a cheaper product?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: A 20% reduction does not mean that 80% will have a recurrent MI. It means that if 5 out of 100 would have had a second heart attack while taking placebo, 4 out of 100 will experience one while taking Plavix. These numbers are just for illustration. We don't have the actual numbers of recurrence at our fingertips.

Several recent landmark studies have proven the importance of CYP2C19 genotyping in treatment using clopidogrel or Plavix. Researchers have found that patients with variations in a gene called cytochrome P-450 2C19 (CYP2C19) have a 3.58 times greater risk for major adverse cardiovascular events such as death, heart attack, and stroke; the risk was greatest in CYP2C19 poor metabolizers.

The abstract is available in the online verison of the New England Journal of Medicine. Anyone taking plavix should be tested for this gene and discuss the results with their cardiologist. I have the gene, am taking plavix but also 162 mg. aspirin a day. So far no clots in my 8 stents.

I have been on Plavix for four years. I had four stents put in 4 years ago. I have occasional bruising on my body. My cardiologist has cut my plavix to every other day, once a day dose.

This medication has possibly kept me alive. Fatigue is my major complaint. If anyone has been on this drug for 4 or more years please let me hear from you.

I have been on Plavix over 4 years......and I keep bugging my Cardiologist about getting off it it because of the bruising. I bruised very easily b4 my 1 stent....but it is really awful now....I look like I have been beat up . I OTHER THAN THAT i have not had side effects.

I did not go off clopidogrel as I was told I can do in September (was prescribed 12 month course, now in my 10th month) see my post above. What is so confusing is: in these posts some people's cardiologists have them on Plavix(clopidogrel) for 4 years already some prescribe a few months and others (with DES) placement is told no less than 12 month course... Now, the latest news is that it has been proved (By studies) that as little as 3 months is sufficient period to take plavix (clopidogrel) even for people who have had a drug eluting stent/s placed (Dual anti platelet therapy) - with aspirin and plavic (clopidogrel)

I got a 2nd opinion after my cardiologist told me I can go off these meds, and the second opinion was, to finish the 12 month course, and he (the 2nd cardiologist) said he would continue to prescribe a 12 month course for patients who received DES.

I can not imagine 4 years on this drug??? the fatigue, and general feeling of "not feeling well" is just too much some days.

I am 49 year old male, with a family history of heart disease. I had two medicated stints put in my LAD three years ago. I have been taking 75mg Plavix, Ecotrin 325mg, Carvedilol 6.2mg, Lipitor 40mg.

How long does one have to take Plavix, or the generic version? Is aspirin just as good? Also as I compare the numbers, I'm taking a much higher aspirin milligrams number than most people.

Is the generic version Clopidogrel just as good as Plavix?

3 years ago, I was 50 in good health, exercised regularly, then had 3 episodes in one day where I had pain, shortness of breath, confusion that would go away after rest, the final indicator was sweating and nausea. After a trip to the ER, they found Iwas 98 % blocked on my left anterior descending artery. A bare metal stent was inserted, I have been on baby aspirin, plavix, carvedilol 3.125 ( 1/2 tab in morning, full at night) and simcor 1000/40 ever since. Bruising was common during this phase. I never had a cold during the 3 years. I had cardiologist meetings every 3 months for the first year, tapered off to once a year.

Regular doctor had checked blood chemistry every 6 months, all numbers look good. Occasional flushing from simcor.

Cardiologist just took me off plavix last week, tapered off the remaining 4 pills I had by taking one pill every other day. Also adjusted the aspirin to evening before the simcor and full tab of carvedilol instead of morning to reduce the likelihood of flushing.

Is there any kind of blood test that should be executed to see what might be changing with the removal of plavix?

Have placed Cypher DES 4 year ago was on dual therapy aspirin 75 mg & plavix 75 mg & divon 80 mg lipitor 20 mg 3 times 500mg glucophage for sugar control, today my Dr advised 4 years gone so off the plavix but increase aspirin 2 times, my all blood values are controlled walked daily 5 km am 58, feeling young but also trader of Angio products since 16 years, really feeling worried, have never heart attack, kindly advise.

In answer to KG Sept 9th. 10 years after having a stent I am still taking Plavix with occasional bruising but no other effects. According to my several local GPs' when I asked the question about stopping all have asked me have you had any angina etc pains if not stay on it as the Plavix must be useful.

Anyone had a Cardiac stent ... Xience V drug eluting stent, or stents placed, and how are you doing with the Xience V DES,... Please could you share your experience with this particular brand of stent, and the medications you were/are on, and for how long... also how did/are you coping

Many Thanks in advance

I've been on for almost 5 years. Bruise easily, and have questioned my cardiologist about going off, but he says that the Plavix helps the DES push the medication into the artery. Would love to go off and hear what others say who have discussed this with their cardiologists and considered stopping.
Deb

I had a DES in 1998, placed because they found a large clot blocking that artery. A couple of months before I had some difficult emotional issues, swear my heart convulsed and I began having angina whenever I walked. No heart attack and all other arteries were totally clear in spite of high cholesterol. Plavix and aspirin. Lipitor.

The bruising was unbelievable; I very seldom bruised before. After 12 weeks of intensive rehab and some changes in my supplements, when I was told plavix and aspirin for life, I said no and weaned off. No incidents since, tho I just requested a cardiac workup because it has been almost three years since the last one and I have a funny feeling in my neck and jaw when I exercise at super, for me, intensity. BTW, I will be 75 next month and heart disease runs in the family. So does cancer, and I am a four time cancer survivor, albeit with some missing parts.

The past 4 years I received 2 stents 3 times. I am on plavix for more than 2 years now. The cardiologist who placed the stents prescribed plavix lifelong. I received a ICD pacemaker 9 months ago and are actually doing well. The cardiologist who organised the ICD told me now that I can stop plavix immediately. Still take half a disprin. I have no bruising problem.

I am a bit worried about the absence of plavix in my body. My skin (legs) is very dry all of a sudden and has to get aquas cream twice a day. I go to gym twice a week but struggle to become fit as I was 2 years ago.

Your conversation interests me a lot and I will appreciate more testimonials.

hello , My 83 year old Father has just had a stent inserted in the main artery running from his heart. It's only been two days now, but could somebody tell me how soon or longer will the benefits be noticeable?

Kind regards,
Ruby

Had a DES stent inserted into my anterior coronary artery which was 80% obstructed. All went well for six months post stent insertion. However, now I have gross blood in my urine. I have gone off my plavix and aspirin for two days now and the urine is now clear. Now what should I do? Go back on plavix and aspirin, take aspirin alone or take nothing. Thanks

I have a 90% blockage in right coronary artery. The doctor would not place a stent because of problems I had with the aspirin/plavix meds they gave me prior to the procedure. I don't see my cardiologist for another week and was wondering if anyone else had a problem taking aspirin.

In reply to Larry W; I am sure everyone will suggest you go and see your cardiologist, and tell him what happened (the blood in your urine) Although you say you have stopped the plavix when you noticed blood in your urine, your cardiologist will most definitely want to know about this effect plavix has had on you, and because bleeding is a possibility when one is on plavix, especially dual anti platelet therapy (plavix and aspirin) your doctor will know exactly how to steer you in the right direction concerning your medication

Please keep us posted as to your progress.

God Bless

I had 4 stents inserted into 4 12 year old bypass's in January of 2004. I have been taking plavix ever since.

I had a DES placed over 6 yrs. ago. The artery was 100% blocked, after six days in the cicu, I was released with a handful of prescriptions, Metoprolol 100mg., Altace 5mg., Lipitor 40mg., plavix 75mg., asa 350mg.

I naturally gave up my lifelong membership at Mc Donalds, started exercising, quit smoking, and generally taking better care of myself, which I still do. I was under the care of a cardiologist for three years, which I finally dropped in favor of my family GP, as I have no symptoms. About a year and a half ago, I developed a nose bleed that turned into a real gusher, and I wound up in the ER, and was kept for the night, as they had a rough time stopping the bleeding. The ER doc, told me it was the plavix.

I went to the GP for a follow up, and told him I would like to quit the Plavix, and he was reluctant, so he lowered the dosage to every other day, cut the asa to 81mg., and dropped the Lipitor to 20 mg. daily. I go for blood work twice yearly, which is always good, except the blood sugar is always high normal, which I recently found could be a by product of the Lipitor. In any case, I still exercise daily, and I am not getting any younger, I will be 67 next month, and the aches and pains are setting in, and I would like to take aspirin, or ibuprofen, but that is a no no with plavix.

Acetaminophen also can be problematic, as I do enjoy a few drinks in the evening.
So, with 6 yrs. of Plavix under my belt, no symptoms, normal weight, healthy diet, and exercise, I see no reason to not to stop on my own, and just go back to the 325mg. coated aspirin daily. It seems that sometimes the docs, are afraid to go against what is the status quo.

As an aside, my mother was on plavix for ten years for a faulty heart valve, and she was also swallowing a lot of aspirin for arthritis pain, and ultimately hemorrhaged, was hospitalized at 88 yrs. and the strain of all this took a toll on the valve, and she passed. THIS WAS NOT CAUSED BY A STENT.

Please excuse the long post, Good Luck, in whatever you decide....

Annie,
I had a heart attack 4 yrs ago at age 50, had a stent placed and on Plavix, aspirin, BP, beta blocker and statin. For 39 1/2 try's I ran and lifted heavy weights 6 days a week, no red meat for over 32 yrs. cholesterol was 165 , BP perfect. I'm in CA. And have seen cardiologists at UCLA, USC, Cedars and Hoag all told me plavix for 3 months then 6,12 then 2 years, then 3 yrs now tell me for life.

I hate the meds and Cardiologists, now I have been diagnosed with leaky heart valve and aortic aneurysm. I want off the plavix but don't have the guts to wean off it. I read up every night and change my mind every night. Don't know what any of us should do seems hopeless waiting for Drs to decide.
Good luck to you
Brian

Plavix is taken to avoid stent clot. Since the stent is used for holding up the artery wall pipe, then if the artery wall pipe can stand on its own, can we remove the stent (assuming that the stent can be taken out, I wonder how)? There is no need for Plavix anymore, since there is no stent in the heart. Otherwise, anybody will be permanent on Plavix for the fear of stent clot! Am I missing anything here???

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Once the stent is placed, it does not get removed. (too much risk, no benefit) It's clear that one need not take Plavix (clopidogrel) forever, but it isn't clear what is the optimum time frame.

I have been on Plavix and one 81mg aspirin for the last 6 years with no other side effects besides the increased bleeding when getting cut. The doctor has asked me stop taking it since I had no other events following the initial MCI when I had 2 stents installed.

He recommended 2 baby aspirins (81mg) or even just one. I also take a fish oil gelcap daily. I believe that having taken one aspirin and one gelcap previous to the heart attack, has slowed down the formation of the clot that eventually gave me trouble. The preceding symptoms had lasted about 2 weeks, during which time some collateral blood vessels formed bypassing the blockage.

Brian.

Did you go off the plavix? I am seeing cardiologist next week, appointment brought forward )on GP's suggestion) because suddenly i have had very high blood pressure (hospitalized for 1 night) week before that it was below normal - even though I have hypertension- now again blood pressure when I took reading this morning was 99/65, later pulse 53. ecg shows I have "sinus Bradycardy"??? anyone on plavix/ clopidogrel have blood pressure problems? (I am on my 14 th pack of clopidogrel- cardiologist now says to stop it.

Blood pressure less than 48 hours ago was at 205/106 pulse in the 50's and this morning 99/62?? a bit worrying I think? Had DES December 2011 70% blockage female 61 yrs

I have been on Plavix for just over four years now. In addition to metropolol, lisinopril, aspirin 325, and Lipitor were all started at the same time. Within a couple of weeks I began to have pain in my left lower chest area which after several more trips to the ER over the years seems to be stomach related. I believe that these medicines are the cause of the pain which comes and goes often. I will soon be discussing the possibility of getting off the Plavix with my Dr. soon. I had a mild heart attack with one stent placed.

I had that stent placed 4 years ago, I need to check and see if it was drug eluding or not, but there have been no problems with the stent itself, I believe all the other medications I am on cause much of my stomach problems.

I had 4 drug eluding stents (Taxus) placed 5 years ago... am still on 75mg Plavix every other day (my idea) plus 81mg aspirin every day... no noticeable side effects other than slight bruising but am concerned about the long term effects of Plavix... no support from my cardiologist to stop Plavix entirely... I feel great and exercise daily.

I have been on Plavix for almost 7 years. I'm a female 66 years old. I had 4 DES's put in 7 years ago and 2 more a year ago. I didn't think I was having any side effects from Plavix until November, 2012, when I was hospitalized for a bowel obstruction. I have a stricture in my small bowel and they are now checking me for Crohn's disease. I have had diarrhea off and on for several years but thought it was from my diet, now wondering if Plavix was the cause. Crohn's is in question because the biopsy came back inconclusive and the blood work showed negative. They are sending me to the University of Iowa Hospital for a second opinion but can't see me until April 15th.

I'm currently on Plavix, Atorvastatin, Lisinopril, Toprol XL, Synthroid and Omeprazole. I think all the meds are slowly killing me! Anyone else experiencing bowel obstructions? I am stopping the Plavix today hoping that it may be playing some role in my latest problem. Any comments will be appreciated. Thanks.

I know exactly how you feel, when I spoke to my cardio about quitting Plavix, he looked at me as if I was crazy. I finally dropped him, and took on my family doctor as my primary. When I questioned him about getting off, he lowered my dosage down to every other day. I believe he just doesn't want to buck the Cardio doc. I am currently weaning off of the Plavix, (if weaning is necessary) they, and Dr. Google make you feel as if you will drop dead, at every turn in the road.

I am currently having no bowel problems, other than occasional constipation,(what else is new :)) But I feel it is is time to quit some of this nonsense before I have further problems.

My feelings are, do what is good for you, as long as you look out for yourself, live a healthy lifestyle, you know your body better than anyone else. When I spoke to my family doc, I told him my priorities are quality over quantity, and I am willing to take the risks, he smiled. I am not a doctor, but I believe seven years are enough.
Good Luck, in whatever you decide...

I had three stents placed 8/21/09. I was placed on Plavix and told that I was to take it for 12 months. After 12 months I saw the cardiologist's PA for an exam and told her that, since a year had passed, I wanted to stop the Plavix. She informed me that if I stopped the Plavix there was a 10% chance that I would have problems with the stents, so I continued to take Plavix. Is she correct that, if I stop the Plavix, there is an increased chance of a stent-involved incident?

I had five stents put in 2005, I had MI in 1995, had stomach bleed [major] went in to shock was given blood transfusions in 1992, The doctors told me it was cause by aspirin, I was allergic to aspirin, so they gave me 81mg so when I had 5 stents put in 2005, my doctor told me
I have no choice, so like I said I am on 75mg of plavix for 8 years, the only side effect I have is stomach gas. I also take somma 359mg for 12 years. other than that I feel great.

It is amazing how many people are agonizing over this question. Bottom line, no one knows, there is always a chance for a clot, how can a doctor predict 10%, I've researched this question for over a year and I never seen that statistic, or really any other definitive statistic as to what can happen after 12 months.

My neighbor had two stents, and even though he was on Plavix, he had another incident, a few years later. Some doctors will take you off after a 12 month course, some will leave you on for a couple of years, some will tell you a lifetime course. Why are they all different? Because, again, no one knows.

I've been looking for a straight answer for a couple of years, and I can't get one, because there is none. I am going to quit, am I scared? Yes. If a Cardio doc gives me a definitive yes, "it is ok", is that a guarantee? no. Given enough time, the Plavix can kill you, long before the clot. So quitting is a crap shoot, but there again, so is everything else in life.

Hi I had thee stents fitted to my heart when I was 75 and was put on Clopidogre & Aspirin. The Aspirin was for life & the Clopidogrel 12 months.
I had no trouble at all. At the age of 76 I had multiple stents fitted to my Aorta, I was once again placed on clopidogrel. I have severe bruising, and the skin is fragile. My GP would like me to stop the Aspirin for a while but the surgeon says No. He told me that I would only be on Clopidogrel for another six weeks. When I left the Hospital I was told that I would be on it for life. So there you are three different opinions. from supposedly qualified physicians.

I try to remember that I would have died any way, so at least now I have a Chance

I have had 3 heart attacks since 1993; a triple 1998 and the last on October of 2011 when a stent was placed. I am a 69 year old male. I'm currently on Clopidogrel (Plavix) 75mg and Lisinopril 5mg. Are there any issues here long term? Started this program in 12, 2011 and it's been over a year. I'm thinking about dropping the Lisinopril since I believe my high blood pressure was situational. I have read the issues of Plavix long term for more than 12 months.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Please talk this over with your physician. You should not stop either of these medicines without medical guidance.

I find this discussion interesting. I had 4 MI's within a week period, 10 years ago at age 49. 2/2003. I had two 100 percent arterial blockages. I did 6 months cardiac rehab. I was prescribed daily Plavix and daily 325 Aspirin. At the 5 year point, my cardiologist informed me there was no evidence to support continued use, yet gave me the option to continue. I opted to continue taking the Plavix and Aspirin combination and it is now 10 years of ongoing continued use. I have had no additional MI's. And believe that the results of my continued use, have given me positive results. I have no negative side affects. If allowed, I will continue taking Plavix.

I had two stents placed in my heart.

I am interested in your comment about staying on plavix for so long. My mom has 3 stents and has been on plavix for 9 years. Just today her cardiologist told her she should stop taking plavix... she is very nervous about stopping after all this time and all he said was she's been on it long enough. Did you ever check with a cardiologist to see if its ok to stay on it this long. Everything I have read says to stop after a year but other things I've read say it is dangerous to stop. So confused and want to help my mom make the safe decision. Any feedback is appreciated.

I recently had an identical experience. More than 6 years ago, when after my HA I got 2 stents, the cardiologist said it would be a good idea to keep taking Plavix for the rest of my life. A few weeks ago, just after going on Medicare, when I went for my 6 months checkup with him, he said I should stop the Plavix, since I am in good shape. He said I should take just the 81mg aspirin and that would be enough. Since I was already taking 81mg aspirin for years before having the HA, I am concerned by the sudden change of the preventive treatment.

There are reports about a so-called "Plavix rebound effect", an increase in HAs following a sudden interruption of the drug.

I believe doctors are concerned by Obamacare and try to voluntarily reduce costs, since there are no clear recommendations about the time to take Plavix following stent placement.

I am taking Plavix while I still have some, on alternate days, and am considering getting a second opinion.

From what I've read, the "rebound effect" would occur within one year, post stent. And then it would occur within 90 days after stopping. I am not a doctor, so I wouldn't dream of telling anyone what to do, but I would think if the stent hasn't coated over in six years, it isn't going to. Every doctor has a different answer, because they simply can't predict the future, and they readily admit it. Everyone overlooks the fact, that long term Plavix use can also be fatal. Dying from an internal hemorrhage, isn't a whole lot of fun either. The usual adage of "the benefits outweigh the risks" are fine for awhile, but how long can we risk the other aspects of our health, before our luck runs out. For what it's worth, people taking plavix, also have heart attacks. Scary stuff I know, but not one, or a dozen doctors can predict what will happen when we stop Plavix. There are too many variables.

I haven't seen a cardiologist in 5 years now. Last time he saw me, he said it was my call. My GP is ok with me taking it. I have two stents, non medicated. It has been ten years now and as long as my insurance will pay for it, I intend to continue taking it. I believe in the saying if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Plavix and aspirin has worked for me for 10 years. If and when I have a future heart issue, such as bipass, stent, whatever, I will re-address. Until then I will continue all meds that I have been on for 10 years. I also take zocur, altace, foltx, niasban, toperol, multi vitamin, D, selenium, and cinnamon.

I am sure my stents are now, after 6 years, covered with endothelial tissue and am not concerned about the stents causing trouble.

However, the blood clot that obstructed my LAD coronary 100% probably came from somewhere else, since I had no angina and my other coronaries were open.
What concerns me is that before I had my HA I was already taking 81mg aspirin and fish oil and by stopping taking Plavix and continuing just on aspirin, which is the cardiologist's recommendation, I'll be back where I was before.

So far I haven't had any adverse side effects from Plavix and don't have very high blood pressure. The only inconvenient was to stop Plavix 5 days before some medical procedures, which also meant to have to postpone for 5 days.

Hi, my mom is in her 70's and she just had two 2.25 overlapping Medtronic resolute integrity stents. Does anyone have advice on how long or if she needs to take Plavix indefinitely. I'm concerned because of her age of bleeding issues.
Thanks

I read your post with interest because my mom has two stents and is 76. What did you decide to do with Plavix? Are your stents overlapping? Thanks

I don't think the two stents overlap. I suspected, as the doctor did, that when placing the first stent, part of the clot got loose and obstructed the coronary further down, so a second smaller stent was used to unblock the second obstruction. Right now I take Plavix every other day, since I still have some left, as well as 81mg aspirin, and intend to go for a second opinion.

I had a stent in place March 25 2012, I have been on clopidrogel since then, the only side effect I noticed is that I bruise easily. I was also placed on 75mg Aspirin daily. I am anxious about what my Doctor will say during my one year review.

I had a medicated stent and a heart attack 13 months ago. I had terrible stomach problems when they started me on plavix and aspirin as I always took nexium and that could not be taken with plavix. My family dr has me on dexilant, ranitidine, losartan, clonazepam, simivastatin, lovaza, aspirin.

Took months to get my stomach under control, two weeks ago my cholesterol went up and they changed that med to livalo, and my blood pressure to benicar. My stomach seemed okay until this. I have walked floors with acid in my throat and stomach pains unreal. Dr sent me to emergency room since indigestion can be a sign of a heart attack. My stomach is in horrible shape. My heart dr. told me last month I could go off plavix because it was a year. I stayed on it.

I am scared to death so I am going in two weeks back to the dr that did the x-vience medicated stent to get his opinion. I am scared to death to go off plavix. Enough studies have not been done. Has anyone here been off it for more then a year and okay?

Hi Annie,
I had 5 Xience 5 stents placed in 12/2009. I am taking 75 plavix, 40 Lipitor, 162 aspirin, 25 metoprolol, and 300 ranitidine. The Xience 5 DES are considered 2nd generation. Compared to first generation DES, they have thinner struts and better medication. This means they should be covered better and reduce the chances of late stent thrombosis. You can read the data sheets for them on Abbott's website.

My dr told me to stay on Plavix but that he wouldn't be too concerned if he had to take me off for an operation if needed. There is a large study (google DAPT study) that will shed light on Plavix duration but that data won't be available for another year. Bottom line, the Xience stents are pretty good in the studies that have compared them. Good luck and try not to worry too much. Just focus on the facts and what makes sense for your situation.
Dennis

John I just got stented yesterday 4/2/2013 and have age exact same cocktail of meds. Can you send an update? Did you stay on the same dosage?

Wow, looking all these posts it does seem like a crap shoot to continue or not on plavix. I have been taking plavix for 10 years, first couple of years after 4MI's and 2 non medicated stents, I bruised very easy and bled like crazy. Now I don't bruise or have excessive bleeding when cut. I intend to take Plavix as long as insurance allows. I am no doctor but I believe if something works, keep doing it. If I have a stoke, I just hope I don't know about it. Good luck to you all. You would think the company that makes plavix would want to know about us long term takers. JFC.

At a follow up appointment with my cardiologist, following placement of two stents, I asked if I could stop taking Plavix in one years time. He told me that he had 4 patients in similar circumstances who had stopped after one year and suffered thrombosis. In his opinion I should be prepared to take it for the rest of my life. (I'm 3 weeks short of turning 76 years of age). I'm not particularly happy with that assessment, but in view of the fact that I've had no side effects so far, (3 weeks), I'll continue as he suggests unless problems arise.

What does your doctor say about being in your 70's and staying Plavix for life? Is he concerned of more potential issues given age?

Any drug companies reading this information. You have plenty of data right here about long term use. Having been on Plavix for 10 years, I am now 59, I hope to be on it 20 more years......

I don't know. The cardiologist who did the angioplasty, (who used to be my personal cardiologist's partner in medicine), told me that there were no significant benefits to taking Plavix beyond one year. Yet my cardiologist says he had 4 people who had blood clots after stopping at the end of a year of taking it. I don't think they know any better than we do.

After reading all the variations that others on this web site have experienced, my inclination is take it for the year and then wean myself off. About a year and a half ago I had to stop taking statins due to muscle pain. I stopped eating meat except for a little chicken or fish 2 or 3 times a week plus I still ate eggs and dairy. I also exercise regularly, (1 hour brisk walk daily plus weights, pushups crunches, stretches etc). Yet I still developed blockages. So now I have gone to a strict vegan diet. Only time will tell if it works.
G.

I am 65. I had the heart attack when I was 59 and was told to take Plavix for life. Recently, as I informed the doctor I was on Medicare, he said I should get off it, since I was in great shape. Strange coincidence. He didn't seem concerned he was contradicting himself. I am taking Plavix on alternate days and will seek a second opinion.

I had a heart attack and a medicated stent March 3rd 2012. I changed cardiologist due to distance. She told me to go off plavix since it has been a year and take 81 mg aspirin. I read horror stories so I thought I would go back to the dr. that treated me and put the stent in. He told he to go off aspirin and keep taking plavix. My family dr says everything he has read says to take plavix with aspirin.

So here I am with three drs an 3 opinions. I do have stomach problems. I take dexilant and prescription zantac twice a day. Who do I listen to out of the 3 drs with three different opinions?

I had the same stent put in 14 months ago. I have been on plavix and 81 gram aspirin, simivastatin, lovaza, dexilant, prescription zantac, and blood pressure meds. I went to rehab shortly after leaving the hospital and went for the entire course. I highly recommend rehab. I walk the tread mill, do the rower and ride bike. up to 30 minutes on tread mill, 15 on rower, and 10 on bike and also the warm ups I was taught before starting. Please anyone that has had a heart attack or stent and your dr says try rehab please go for it.

I have been great on the stent you have plus I had a heart attack. If you read back though you will see where I have 3 drs disagreeing on the plavix and aspirin. I went with the cardiologist that did the stent and am off aspirin and just on plavix (generic).

I have had a terrible problem with stomach being on both aspirin and plavix. Just last week my cardiologist took me off the aspirin after 14 months and I now take just plavix (generic).

My husband had a stent inserted three weeks ago because e he had a 95% blockage in one of his arteries. He is 60, didn't have high cholesterol, is a non smoker and gets a fair amount of exercise at work. He has never taken any medicines before. He is now taking 150mgs plavix and aspirin and concur and 20 mgs of Lipostat as he was not able to bear the 40 Mgs of lipitor.

However, since getting his stent, he continuously complains of heart burn which sometimes extends to his arms and that frightens him to the extent that he cannot sleep and he says it sometimes wakes him up in the night. I believe some of this has to do with anxiety and stomach gas, which has increased. Has anyone else felt such pain for several weeks following the stent insertion?

Before having the HA I had an intense heart-burn for about 2 weeks. It felt different than the heart-burn I was used to and it would appear while I was walking between my car and my office. Each time, I would sit down and chew Tums and the pain went away, but it was because of sitting down, not the Tums.

When I had the HA, I woke up with a strong heart-burn that wouldn't go away or diminish with Tums and Omeprazole. I was taken by ambulance, but even the antacid they gave me in the hospital had no effect. However, 20 minutes after the stents were installed, the heart-burn went away for good.

If the heart-burn doesn't diminish at all with antacids or "protonics", such as Omeprazole, ask the cardiologist.

During my stay, and after leaving the hospital, post stent, I was taking 40mg Lipitor, 75mg Plavix, 5mg Altace, 100mg Metoprolol, 325mg Ecotrin. On the third night, the nurse came in with yet another pill, I was already disgusted with all these meds, and I questioned her with a "now what"? She explained to me that a lot of these meds are extremely harsh on the stomach, and that the doctor prescribed 40mg of Protonix, to prevent any harm coming to my stomach. I took it daily for about a year, before he took me off. You need to talk to the doctor, and he needs to do something for your husband.

Hi Folks,
I am 79 yrs. I had a stent fitted about 12 years ago. I have been on plavix daily since then and have never felt better. I play golf off a handicap of 10.

John. K.

J.K.,
Are you on baby aspirin or any other medications?
Thanks,
Michele

I saw a cardiologist for a second opinion. She said that if there was no heart attack prior to stent placement, she would recommend Plavix for only one year, but since I had a heart attack, it was better to continue taking it for the rest of my life. Besides increased bleeding when I cut myself, I suffer no side effect, so I'll continue taking it.
I was also told to switch my antacid from Omeprazole, which reduces the effectiveness of Plavix, to Pepcid, which, as far as it's known, doesn't interact.

Read most of the comments re Plavix. For me I am totally confused as I had a metal stent fitted 4weeks ago and a follow up with Cardiologist yesterday who said I should take 75mg Plavix for 12 months as it will give 10% less chance of problems. I later got a call for the Cardiologist to say that hospital reports said stay month only on Plavix from stent fit. He advised me to go with hospital report. Do they really know whats going on or simply picking any length of time for medication ?

Hi David,

Yes, it can be very confusing, however, if a DES (Drug Eluting Stent) was placed, the norm is minimum of 12 months treatment with Plavix (Clopidogrel)... If a BMS (Bare Metal Stent) was placed, some doctors treat with as little as one month ...6 weeks.... or 6 months with Plavix (Clopidogrel), as a bare metal stent is covered much quicker in tissue after placement than a drug eluting stent- therefore treatment with Plavix(Clopidogrel) after a drug eluting stent spans a minimum of 12 months.

If you are feeling anxious about the conflicting prescribed times, maybe a second opinion will put you at ease?

Please let us know how you doing.

Blessings.

Once my cardiologist found 75% blockage in one of my coronary arteries he inserted two stents and put me on Plavix in October, 2012. Immediately I noticed that a slight scratch could cause a good deal of bleeding. A lot of bandages have been required since. At least it seemed that way to me because I used to clot really well.

The most devastating effect I have felt is exhaustion. I have very little stamina. Mowing the lawn this spring, 2013 is now at least a two day task with about 10 breaks in the middle each day on a 1/3 acre lot! I can't wait to get off the stuff but I'm not about to endanger my heart by doing so without my cardiologists ok.

Hi Annie,
The exposed metal of the stent could be one known cause of clot formation, but a clot can originate from some other location in the body. I understand that Plavix remains necessary even if the stent is well covered in tissue in order to prevent such an event.

Very good subject matter. 2005 had Taxus DES placed in LAD for a NSTEMI...Plavix for 6 years along with baby aspirin. RCA 30% diffuse. January 2o13... Severe pains. Rushed to so so ER hospital. ACUTE STEMI. Had to take doctor on call. Placed Medtronic DES and told hubby I was good to go with no heart damage. (wrong... I had damage) Take Plavix for life he said, with 3 baby aspirin. Followed orders to a tee. 3 weeks later pains returned. 911 called but would not take us to a good hospital so we flew 90MPH to major heart center.

I was rushed to Cath Lab and IVUS and larger/longer DES stent placed in same area of LAD. Placed on EFFIENT (no plavix) Must take this for 15 months along with 3, .81mg Aspirin. EF 40, BNP thru the roof. Troponim 400. I am now under the care of a brand name Interventionalist. It has been 3 months since the last STEMI and so far so good. I am wrapping on wood.

I was on Plavix for five years and just asked my cardiologist a few weeks ago if I could stop in favor of aspirin (81 mg) and he said yes. I bled a lot from the slightest scratch. My face suffered the worst: I developed rosacea, had red spots and would bleed in several places spontaneously (very embarrassing!). I started consulting a dermatologist and he said that he had no idea what was causing my facial problems, but I knew that it was the Plavix.

All of the facial issues cleared up immediately once I stopped the Plavix. My skin looks good, finally. Let's hope that all else remains fine.

Early this year I had an acute inferior myocardial Infarction (100% blockage in 1 vessel), and I received a drug coated stent. Initially I was placed on both Plavix and 81mg aspirin. As the weeks passed, I noticed many bruises. Then I got nose bleeds that came both in the daytime and spontaneously at night.

One day I experienced severe bleeding where blood was coming out my nose and mouth. It scared me. My cardiologist allowed me to drop the aspirin. Now I just take Plavix. The nosebleeds have stopped. The bruises have faded. One wonders how long one must take the Plavix, and if in time the aspirin alone could be protective?

Reg Plavix
I had 4 stents placed in 2000 . Periodically
I have rebelled against taking so many pills.!
In 12 years I've had 7 stress test this last one the heart Dr.
said I didn't need to take it any longer

He said he would see about the rest in 4 month
I never had a heart attack. I was blocked
left side 80% , right side 87%, and the bottom side back
Was blocked 99%. I have a very strong heart
, I have worked hard all my life. I have not felt
very good lately . I'm thinking I should have
stopped taking Plavix gradually . Live and learn
I guess wayne R

I do not believe doctors have good answers regarding Plavix and or Effient. DES stents were introduced in early 2004. My sister and brother in law each had a bare metal stent in 2000. Both got off Plavix due to the Steven Johnson syndrome after 15 months time.

So it has been now 12 years and no issues with either of them. I had 4 DES stents in 2004. 2 in RCA and 2 in LAD. Stayed on Plavix for 6 1/2years. Taxus stent closed up in 2007. LAD closed up in 2013 and had major heart attack. ALL Drug Eluting Stents, on Effient now for 15-18 months. Then back to Plavix forever. Darn Heart Disease.

Stent put in 4month ago and I am on the following med: Coversyl 4mg, Metoorolol Tart 25mg, Clopidogrel Bisulf 75mg, Atorvastatin CA 80mg, ASA 81mg.

Before the stent and starting the medications my blood level was normal, Did any one found that the sugar level went up to 7.1 in the morning and after exercising rose to 7.4.... Please, advice and comment
Diana

I had a CABG (TRIPLE VESSEL LIMA RIMA Y)in 2000 and two DES in 2013. I am taking clopidogrel continously since 2000. After my angioplasty in 2013, I am on 75 mg clopidogrel od,50 mg cilostazole bd, carvedilol 20mg cr, and telmisartan 40 mg od. Can I take coenzyme q 10 along with all the medicines?

There is so much controversial about stents and Plavix and so on. I think this is all mostly about capitalism. Had stent myself without knowing what it is. I know I did not need it. I think most people don't need a stent after a heart attack if they change their diet and lifestyle and maybe some meds.

Also I think doctors need to explain to the people what they are getting into after the stent. All this should be illegal. Don't understand the FDA to approve all this. They should be held accountable. I believe people are used as guinea (trial) pigs.

I wish I had been given the choice of a med eluding stent and a regular stent. Plavix is recommended for 2 months following the placing of a regular stent but for one year after the newer med eluding stents. I had good results from a regular stent placed about 6 years ago without taking plavix. If I had known that I would have to take it for a year I would have opted for a regular stent once again.

I have had 3 by-pass surgerys since 1978, and a stint in 2004. I have been on plavix 75 mg every since. Very active with tennis, golf, and long bike rides 10 to 40 miles. I am 76 years old. so far so good

D.S.C.,
Did you ever have a heart attack or damage to your heart?
Michele

Hello, perhaps you are doing so well is the fact that in 2/2003, DES stents were not available but bare metal stents were. I had 4 DES stents place in 6/2004. a year or so after wards news came out about the Taxus and the Cypher Drug eluting stents... possible future problems. Bare metal was not mentioned.

Had I known on 6/2004, what I learned a short while later. I would never of agreed to DES stents. I would insisted on Bare Metal stents. My sister and brother in law and a cousin all had bare metal stents placed in 2000 and 2001 and now 12 years later they are doing great with never an issue. You do not want to know how I fared with my Taxus DES or of recent the massive MI x 2 with the Cyphers in the LAD, closing up.... I was on Plavix and Aspirin and a host of other heart meds and still nearly lost my life.

I have 2 new stents in the LAD and am on Effient (blood thinner) and aspirin now for life... although my cardio will change the Effient out for Plavix after 15 months of daily Effient. (due to my age) I do not think anyone really knows what the future holds for DES stent folks and the use of blood thinners, i.e.Plavix, Effient. Hate this heart disease. Wishing you many good years to come.
MR

Updating this: At my 5-month-post-heart-attack appointment with my cardiologist, he put me back on the aspirin. The bruising is back, but I've not had any nosebleeds.

Mary, I am sure sorry to hear this. I think this sight is great that we share our experiences. I really had no idea how lucky I was. After my MI X 4 in 2-03, I was informed I still have a 90% blockage and that I would be a great candidate for the new drug coated stents. Instead I went to cardiac rehab for 6 months. All post tests indicated blood flow was increased. For 6 years I worked out hard and only improved.

Then age and life stopped me from cardiac exercise. So then diabetes came next. My heart seems good so far but I only have Echo and regular check ups. I see no cardiologist. Have had no nuclear stress test in 6 years now. I do wish someone would do a study on long term affects of plavix. And I will remain on all medicines post MI as long as I am allowed. I very much appreciate you letting me know about the DES, drug coated stents, but I wonder if they still have the old ones. If so I would now ask for them, thanks to you and others posted here. Thank you Mary for taking the time to let me know about the stents, I do hope you are well.

My cardiologist informed me there was no evidence to support continued use. I knew this was a relatively new drug. I am a believer if something works, don't change it. I am in decent health and I believe I have good Rx. Especially Plavix, now the generic. So to answer your question, I made the decision to stay on it and he, and my primary care doctor are ok with it. I have not been back to a cardiologist in 5 years. And want to stay away from them as long as I can. I do not bleed excessively and I am also on 325 aspirin daily.

After reading all the posts here I am satisfied with my decision to remain on all Rx, again especially Plavix. I take about 10 different Rx, and 5 vitamins a day. So far so good. I hope your Mom decided to stay on Plavix. I have also learned on here about the DES stents, and hope to avoid them if possible if I have future problems. But I will take any stent over bypass, again if I have any say. I failed to mention that I was a smoker prior to my 4 MI in 2-03. I have been smoke free since. I think that has a lot to do with things. But I really do believe if something is working don't change anything. I wish you and your Mom well.

I have been on Plavix for 4 yrs. I read that you can come off this after 1-2 yrs. after me keep on asking my card. Dr. he finally said he leaves that decision up to me. I just want to be sure I'm making the right decision.. checking all info out.. 1 stent that's all I have. what do you think?

It really makes one confident in doctors when you hear that!
My cardiologist said that if I hadn't had a MI prior to the stent, she would have recommended me to stop taking plavix after several years (6 in my case), but since the stent was implanted because of the MI she said I should continue taking it.
My previous cardiologist said I should just take 81mg aspirin, but that would have put me in exactly the same condition I was before the MI, when I was taking aspirin and one gelcap of fish oil.

I had a stent inserted in 1998, after they removed a large blood clot that had clogged the whole artery, as it happens my largest. The others, tho open, were not enough to insure a good oxygen supply to the heart. I had angina. Afterwards, SOP, they put me on plavix. I took it for several WEEKS, did not like the bruising, wondered why I needed it, no heart attack, no plaque, stopped it against doctor's advice. I still have the stent, as viewed in a recent angiogram, in great condition. Now, I am 75, no heart disease, a very small blockage, not worth doing anything about. And that includes medication.

There are a slew of things you can do to prevent and reverse heart disease that do not include drugs. Many supplements help to keep arteries pliable, such as arginine, anyone can begin an exercise program, even if for just minutes a day. Some days walking from the bedroom into the kitchen is all the exercise I can do because I have fibromyalgia. But I do my stretches and push away the stiffness. To move free, you have to start by pushing yourself. All this information is available on the net and probably from the store here.

If you stop Plavix it will completely leave your system in about 5-7 days. This is why you should stop taking Plavix one week before surgery (due to the risk of bleeding). To my knowledge aspirin permanently acetylates cyclooxygenase in platelets and prevents them acting as a base for a thrombus (clot). The life of a platelet is 5-10 days.

I had a minor heart attack one year ago and had a stent placed. Before that, I've been a high BP patient, taking drugs like Losartan, ARB and Atacand.

After the procedure, my cardiologist put me on Plavix (an expensive drug, I must say), aspirin, Crestor 10mg (for cholesterol) and Betaloc. He told me very clearly that I would stay on these drugs for the rest of my life!

I've been living in Switzerland for about a year now, and some time back, I saw a cardiologist after feeling a slight pain in my chest. He told me to stop Plavix and Betaloc immediately, but told me to take Crestor (which I had discontinued in the meantime) until further notice since my cholesterol level was a bit on the high side.

Ever since I stopped Plavix and Betaloc, I've been feeling weird. I feel a strange heaviness around the heart and weak. I wonder if this is normal, and how long it lasts.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE:

Let your cardiologist know about this symptoms. Some testing might be in order.

After reading the last year+ of posts I am not feeling any more secure that I was before I started. I am a 50 yo fe and had an MI [heart attack] 22 months ago and had a DES [drug eluting stent] placed in my circumferential artery. I am currently taking 75mg of Plavix, 325mg of ASA, 40mg of Crestor, Synthroid, and a handful of other hyprtsn meds.

I recently had to have a cardiac "pre-op" clearance up coming bariatric surgery. My Cardiologist is one of many that practice in the huge office that I go to. I have seen 4 different M.D.s and one NP in the past 22 months. I had another cath a year ago that came out completely clean after a failed stress test. Of all of the providers that I have seen, the last said that I can come off of the Plavix forever. I was told by the others that I would be on the dual platelet therapy for the rest of my life. Unprompted he said that everyone has different opinions on the duration of the use of Plavix.

I am worried. I guess I am under the opinion that if it works leave it alone. My cath was clean and he used that as the excuse to cease the Plavix. I see it as the opposite, "Look, it's working, great!"

I have an appt with my family practice MD later this month and I'll bring it up with him.

Where are these "studies" that bloggers are referring to? I'd love to read them, and present them to my doc.

Thanks!

I completely understand your dilemma. I too was faced with the same question. I decided to stay, since it was working. I totally believe in if something works don't fix it.

I have been on Plavix for > 10 years now and all is well. I had several blockages, 4MIs [heart attacks], and I am sure there were more, are more. So for me staying on Plavix made sense. And as long as they let me, I will stay with it.

Good luck Karen, you get the data and make your own decision.

I had a MI in February 2010 at which time I had two DE stents put in my right coronary artery. Now into Sept 2013 and I am still taking clopidogrel (75mg) as well as a low dose (81mg) aspirin every day. I run and walk all the time and have done extremely well on stress tests.

An MD friend suggested that if I am not having any side effects that it is not hurting to continue the thinner. My only complaint is that I bruise easy from silly bumps and bangs while working in the yard or around the house. My cardiologist told me that some people stop taking clopidogrel due to cost factors at times. My insurance combined with my wife gives me 100% coverage. All I pay each year is the deductible for my plan.

I have been on Plavix 75 MG plus 81 Mg aspirin for 10 Years!

Recently had a 90percent blockage, no heart attack. Stent and Placed on Plavix and 81 aspirin. I was told one year on Plavix. Already feel exhausted and some heaviness in chest. Have l problem with altered taste. Could this be a side effect and will it rectify itself? Some mood swing.

Just had two Xience des placed in my LAD. I am female and I had no symptoms, but routine stress test suggested there may be a blockage. LAD was blocked 99%. I am now taking Plavix and full aspirin. Cardiologist says I will go back to 81 aspirin after a month but Plavix for life. I am also taking Norvasc, Prevacid for gerd, and synthroid. I go back to the dr in a couple of weeks and see what other meds if any I will need to take. I did take Zocor for a while, but gave me bad leg pains. I already have a lot of muscle and joint pain(some of it arthritis) in my body as I have possible fibromyalgia.

I have learned to live with the constant pain. My knees are bad and I broke a hip March 2012 which never healed correctly. But I do pray each day that God will get me through this and I try to live only for the day. There are many, many people much worse off than me. God bless all of you.

I had a stent put in my heart 10 years ago. Been on plavix and baby aspirin for 10 years. I never had any problems with it, except a little bruising when i first started taking it. So far I feel great, exercise every day. knock on wood.

I had a stent put in Febuary ...blood test before leaving white cells were 6.9 ...was put on Plavix and two week later white cells 3.4 .... I say the Plavix is destroying my cells....

People's Pharmacy response: You must talk with your doctor about this right away! He or she needs to evaluate that possibility.

I had 11 medicated stents put in June of 2009 over a 2 day period. 5 main arteries were blocked, 2 at 90% 2 at 70% and 1 at 50% I have been on Plavix and 325 mg aspirin plus 2 blood pressure meds and Crestor I have had no issues up to this date. 100% no side effects

So interesting to find this site! I had an HA in Dec.2012, and three drug coated stents in LAD and another artery. In 1995, my primary discovered a problem based on a complaint of shortness of breath and a quick trip on the treadmill. Had 90% blockage in anterior LAD, and one stent placed. Was put on plavix, but had an allergic reaction to it, so, just one 325 mg aspirin a day. In December, I had the heart attack, with no prior symptoms, and had the three stents inserted.

The initial stent I had in '95 is still open. I got along all those years on baby aspirin, and eventually, low dose BP med, diovan. Good cholesterol, so no meds for that. In the meantime, six years ago I developed really severe inflammatory arthritis, and was bedridden for four months until I went on Humira and now Enbrel, and Advil. Biological are heavy duty drugs with all kinds of bad possibilities, but to have a life.....well. The combination worked for me until the HA! Now, I am on Effient, aspirin 81 mg, (bled all over with the 325), Crestor, even though my cholesterol was OK, low dose of metoprolol at night in addition to a higher dose of diovan in AM. This in addition to arthritis drugs. I cannot take Advil any longer with the blood thinner, so I am in pain all the time, and extremely fatigued. Tylenol does not work for me.

Like many others, I don't know if I can ever go off the blood thinner, or if the cholesterol drug is causing more muscle pain, or what pain killer I can use. I joked to my cardio, that he saved me to be in pain for the rest of my life! I am grateful of course, but my primary always says that life is about the quality of it.

Ok..Had cypher medicated stent put in in 2003. Was told for one year I'd be on Plavix however that then became a life time. I recently switched Cardiologists due to Him telling me I needed an Angiogram in the past 2 years after I had a stress/echo done but could not tell me why and as you know this is very expensive. He hadn't dome a heart echo in 6 years and he told me I had refused them??? I never knew I was supposed to have them until we did one in 2011 and the Tech thought I hadn't done a stress test in that long.

I'd go to my follow up appointment and he NEVER brought up the angiogram and would just say "Everything looks good". This would stress me out not knowing if I needed one or not but also knew that after even my insurance paid I'd still owe about $6,000 even though he'd always say 'Well you have insurance"! New Cardiologist did heart echo and took me off Plavix stating that now the risk out weighed the benefit because of bleeding. Sill on 81 mg ASA. Told me IF I started having chest pain to go back on and call him. Then did nuclear stress test as I told him I wanted to exercise. That all looked good.

So, I've been off Plavix for over a month now, bruises have cleared and no symptoms but I did read that the first 90 days are the most critical due to a VA study of a possible "rebound Effect" from going off the Plavix but that is not known for sure. I will post back as I progress in time with this to update my case of going off the drug. No real studies have been done on this but they do have more info now. most all cardiologists will keep on the side of caution, however my new one told me that newer info and studies have shown no difference on the drug or off. So 10 years on the drug and 1 month off. hope it works because the outcome is not good if it doesn't!!!

Hi. My mother had a stent place in one artery. She just started taking plavix and aspirin. What's the best natural protocol she could follow in place of plavix and aspirin? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

My husband has been on Plavix for 15 years. He went into the hospital for spinal surgery after d/c Plavix for 7 days. Surgery was aborted due to bleeding. His last of 6 stents was placed 11 month ago. Heart is stable, exercise level good until he had problems with rapid decline in his cervical spine. My concern is with the length of time he has been on Plavix and what needs to be done to prepare him for surgery. He has a pacemaker. We are ok with waiting 12 mo. but really don't want a repeat of previous problem. His coag. numbers were supposedly o.k. Thank you.

JL... I would ask the doctor about any problems AFTER surgery, when he has to be off the Plavix for surgery. My friend had a problem with clotting after her surgery. Her doctor didn't tell her family this might happen. Looking forward to your answer.

I am on 75mg Plavix, 81mg aspirin and fish oil, which is also a blood thinner, because of stents. I had cataract surgery this year and had to stop Plavix for 5 days and aspirin for 10 days before surgery. It was not enough.
I developed a blood clot in the eye which took some time to go away and had to stay off Plavix several more days after the surgery in order to avoid bleeding again.
It depends on the patient how fast the compromised platelets are replaced with new ones. One article on the net mentions 4 days for aspirin and 10 days for Plavix. My doctor said aspirin required 10 days and Plavix 5. Obviously nobody has a clear answer, but if I'll need another procedure, I'll stop both as well as the fish oil, for at least 10 days before surgery.

ERW.........good to see your feedback. My friend had very serious problems develop. I am on Effient and baby aspirin. I am allergic to Plavix. I am also a quick clotter. I really worry about any future surgeries, and my dentist freaks out every time I have anything other than a filling. I suppose one only prays.......and hopes for the best. I doubt any doctor knows the correct answer.

I have been on Plavix for almost 10 years, yes 10 years. No complications at all, in 2011 I did have a 80% blockage that was stented but did not suffer heart attack.

BD.....My friend was on Plavix for 15 + years. She had no problems either until she had to go off it for surgery. I suppose the fact that she had hip surgery and was in bed for a long time didn't 'help. Another friend had hip surgery too, and is recovering nicely, but he was not on blood thinners. I am seeing my doc on Thursday, and I am going to ask about this first thing.

Thanks for your input.

I had 3 strokes seven years ago when I was 50. I was put on Plavix and am still taking it. My doctor says that I will need to take it the rest of my life. Have never had any problems yet. I may have to have a procedure for a biopsy coming up where I have to be off the Plavix 10 -14 days. Very worried about this. I also have back disc problems and the doctor prescribed ibuprofen. How bad is this to mix with Plavix?

I have been on effient and now on plavix for 3 years. I bleed like a stuck pig. Every now and then I pass blood in my stools, sometimes I have nose bleeds often. I had 4 stent put in.

Two days post 911 had 4 stents, Intervention cardiologist prescribed Plavix and 325mg Aspirin. His instructions were to take them both for life. Haven't had angina nor any other cardiac related pain and issues since. If it isn't broke don't fix it.

I had exercise induced (spinning class) angina and 1 non-DES placed 7 years ago, immediately had what was diagnosed as restenosis and a DES placed inside the first stent. Have been on Plavix since then. At 6 yrs had a check via cardiac catheterization with no blockage found. I would like to go off the Plavix but without having a clear cardiologist recommendation to do so, I am reluctant to chance it.

I think the Plavix may be the reason that My stent is still clear, so I will stay on it. Meanwhile my BP med was changed to Diltiazem ER, and angina disappeared during exercise. This indicates that my initial angina may not have been caused by a blockage, but rather by spasming blood vessels, brought on by stress. Had I known this, I would have not had a stent, but now having 2 stents, it's good to use Plavix as insurance on their placement.

Hi I had a stent put in 14 years ago, I had previously had a mini stroke, I was told to take plavix and a half asprin and advised I would have to stay on this by my medical professor for life.

I suffer from severe gall stones and could never get an operation, I have now sought advice from a major Australian hospital and have been advised to drop the half asprin and use plavix only, I am now going to be operated on early in the new year and my surgeon has advised I do not have to stop taking the plavix. I have never had any headaches or nose bleeds very minor skin spots only bu really have had no problems whatsoever over the last 14 years, my surgeon believes after consultation with my surgeon that implanted the stent that he can carry out a positive operation and remove my gall bladder, I have a preop booked in for early February 2014 at the st. Vincents hospital in Melbourne, will advise hopefully later the outcome.

Had a MI in 1990 no Stent. I was having an Angioplasty and they blocked up a Obtuse Marginal the Cardiologist told me. I was so happy to have one of the best in the world card Doctor unfortunately he was leaning on a wall, while an Intern blocked me up. Teaching Hospitals beware. It was restenosis after restenosis through the "90's" then. When Plavix was introduced I was placed on it and I remain on it today.

This started when I was "50". I now have Neuropathy in my feet and pretty bad Degenerative Osteoarthritis. I went to a Neurologist and he said he thought my Neuropathy was from my Statin Drugs. I had to lower my Lipitor from 80 mg to 40 due to the pain recently. I just last August had two Xience Expedition RX Stents put in my LAD (total 11 stents over the years). Now I have Stones in my common duct which will need surgery, but my Card says don't get off Plavix. On the NET it states pretty clearly a High Risk of Coronary Thrombosis, getting off before 12 months. My Ejection Fraction is 31 and a DeFib is coming up.

I'll be 75 in February, having Coronary Artery Disease comes with some MEDS side effects that are unpleasant. My Father died at 44 years old of the dreaded disease, I'll bet he would accept the related problems, the drugs caused.

Albert T. I had gall bladder removed years ago, and compared to as late as the 80's, the laparoscopic is fairly bloodless. Might have to watch for infection, but should be OK. I was out and about in two days.

MC.........interesting about your neuropathy. Going to ask my pharmacist about that. My cardio said at first that Crestor wasn't a problem, but last time I asked him again about it, and he admitted it could be making my muscle pain and neuropathy worse. I once was diagnosed with stroke........but it turned out to be a pinched nerve.......so, am more wary now. Two chiropractors and a masseuse fixed that.

Grateful for input here.

I was alaways very active, speed walking, tennis, squash all through my life before I had a HA in 2005 (59.5 yrs), shooting pain on my right arm which woke me up from sleep but I failed to recognize this as a HA as the pain was on my right arm, no chest pain. So I went on my business as usual. After three days the pain radiated to my neck and jaws but I was still doing speed walking, stair climbing in the office. On the fourth day I went to GP and he asked me to go to the emergency. I drove my car to the ER and when the attending nurse checked my Oxygen level I saw the nurses started running.

I got a Card. visited me and told dme that I had HA. My Tro. was 14.7(Canadian value). I was sent to the Cath lab almost after three hours and the Doctor found that my LAD was 90 % Blocked and my RCA was 85 % blocked. A BMS was placed in the LAD and a DES was placed in the RCA.

I am on Plavix and Aspirin since then. Heart damage 10%, EF by MRI at the time of DES 50%. Now on echo it comes about 35-45%. I am still very active and so long had no adverse reaction to Plavix. I went through Cataract Surg. after One year with Plavix on, hernia surgery in 2010 with Palvix on (as my Card won't allow me to go without it) now I have to go for a tooth extraction.

Can you suggest do I have to stop taking Plavix/ Aspirin before that. If yes for how many days please.

Ashok D., I would say you were very lucky to have been able to undergo surgeries while on Plavix AND aspirin. I am quick to clot, like after a simple blood test, but one time I had gum surgery, and had only taken a couple of aspirin.... wasn't on thinners at the time... and I bled all over the place. If you are having ordinary dental work, your dentist should be aware of the situation, and it should be OK. I am on Effient, as I am allergic to Plavix, and don't have any experience as yet, but have had dental work.

No one really knows, but if your dentist is fully aware, you have to trust that they will know what to do. I am having a nuclear heart test tomorrow, and the woman who made my appt. said that an athlete had dropped dead while taking it. Gives one lots of confidence!!! Good luck to both of us.

Hi,

today I noticed blood in my stool. The doctor placed a stent last May, 2012 and had me taken Brilenta 2 tablets (one in the morning and one at night with Crestor) one Aspirin after lunch. Last month told me to stop the Brilenta and replaced it with Plavix. So, I have been taking Plavix for about 3 weeks only! Today I noticed the blood and bruise in my inner thigh. I talked to my doctor and told him what happened and he said stop Plavix but keep taking the aspirin. He told me it's been more than 6 months since I started taking the anti-coagulant so it's enough.

regards,

The stent was placed in May 2013 not 2012. The type of the stent I had was the bio-degradable type which will be dissolved after one year by itself.

regards,

We'll, the thing I had hoped wouldn't happen, has. I had chest pain, then EKG at primary, because I had an appt that day. Went to cardio, he did EKG, then had me schedule a nuclear heart scan. Apparently, one or more of the stents placed in Dec. 2012 is closing. I have to go for angiogram and whatever they decide..

I have felt sick ever since the HA, and I am scared this time. My doc said there is more damage than first thought. I dread it all, and especially complications or more drugs. I have been in bad health for seven years with the arthritis and now heart.

Had two stents placed in October 2013. Taking plavix but not aspirin since it upsets stomach even with antacid. Hopefully Plavix will be enough.

Interesting reading, as my wife of 42 years has been telling me that I should be getting off of Plavix. (I don't have a big life insurance policy).

I have had 4 non medicated stents now since October of 2007, when I was 95% blocked in all four. It took 5 incidents of not being able to breath, over a 4 day period, before I sought medical help.

After the placement of the stents, my cardiologist immediately put me on the normal, what I call "stereotype meds" for this sort of issue, 75 Plavix, 180 Aspirin, Vitorin, and one that was for high blood pressure, that I don't have a problem with. I have been off of it for so long I can't remember what it was, but it made me totally lethargic.

I went through a 12 week rehab program, where they tried to teach me how to exercise and eat properly. Most of that stuck, but my diet could still be better. I do hit the gym at 5:30 most mornings though.

I have a high stress job, and have had my bouts with ulcers in the past.

No complaints on the Plavix or aspirin, as my Grandpa used to say "if it aint broke, don't fix it." I have had nuclear stress tests annually, and they have all come back "normal" whatever that means.
So, I guess until a cardiologist tells me to drop the Plavix, I am going to stick with it.

I think lawsuits keep most of them from doing anything specific and not routine for this type of issue.

Re:my post of Jan. 14.

I went to my cardio yesterday, and I thought I would be looking at a couple of days in the hospital after the nuclear test. After another EKG, and discussing my case, he decided that he did not think the stent is closing, but my intermittent pain may be from scar tissue from my HA from a year ago, and we will wait on the angiogram. We also discussed my blood thinner, and not being able to take pain relief. He said to go off the Effient, since it has been over a year, and start taking a regular aspirin, and I can also take Aleve or Advil when I really need to. This will be a trial period. I am grateful to be able to take aspirin and ibuprofen again, as I tolerate both well, but of course time will tell about bleeding.

I have a friend who had open heart surgery two years ago and never went on blood thinner, but just reg. aspirin. He is doing very well. I know everyone is different. Life is all risk, I guess. My biggest fear is clotting and stroke.

I am fairly new to all this heart talk. I am only in my 30s, and my husband is the heart patient. He was 35 years old and had a SECOND heart attack. During the second heart attack the cardiologist put in a stent and told him to NEVER stop taking it.

6 months later, in a new city, a new cardiologist told him to stop it. 2 weeks later he had a third heart attack. The cardiologist did no stress test, did not have him exercise to find out if his heart was healthy. His blood pressure is always high, his cholesterol high, and his heart rate is around 103-108bpm.

Knowing all this he still took my poor husband off his anti-coagulant.

I am wondering if this new cardiologist could have potentially killed him by taking him off plavix so soon after a stent.

Just a side note, being his young age, there has been no terrible side effects mentioned, no bleeding problems, no ulcers, no bruising the only negative was AFTER stopping plavix he got terrible headaches lasting for days!

J.Habecott......my heart bleeds for you.....figuratively......about your husband. My husband also died of questionable medical treatment, but in hospital. Not as young either. I am amazed at the actions of the second doctor, given your husbands history. In fact, I am going to ask my own cardio about this scenario. Or my primary, who is very protective of me.

As to my own problems, I have felt better in some ways, after being off Effient for a month now, and no bruising, but I am scheduled to see my cardio again in a few weeks, and my primary after that. I still have tremendous pain from the arthritis, so being able to take a pain reliever again helps. I realize it is all risky tho. For the first time in my life, I think a lot about fragility.

My cardio obviously isn't convinced this is right or not, since he normally wouldn't see me for six months. My cholesterol has never been high, yet I have to take meds. Meanwhile, my mom, who is skinny as a rail, takes no meds, and at 97 my cardio proclaims having the strongest heart ever... Perhaps diet is the key. We eat entirely differently.

I've been in the same situation, except it was the same doctor who first told me to take Plavix for the rest of my life, but then decided to take me off once I became a medicare patient. My solution was to change cardiologist. The second one said that if I hadn't had a heart attack she would have suggested to stop Plavix after several years with no mishaps, but since I had one and have two stents, she decided I should continue taking it.

There are no standards concerning this problem so the doctor can not be faulted whatever he recommends. It is up to the patient to decide what to do when in doubt.

If you have any doubts about your doctor, the best course of action is to switch to another one. If your husband goes for cardiac rehab, he can ask the other participants about cardiologists in the area.
Good luck.

This is the exact problem I had - 3 weeks of heartburn, took Tums, rested and felt fine. Never thought of it to be the Heart. Then both of my arms started hurting along with the heartburn, Tums did not help, neither did aspirin, called EMS and found out I had 100% blockage of the RCA. A Stent was placed and I am on 75mg Plavix, 81mg Aspirin, 80mg Lipitor and Metoprol. Original stomach problems settled, but I feel a weakness in my left leg upon standing that is progressively getting worse.

It is 10 weeks now and I need to find out what is causing it. I am 76 years old and wonder if Plavix or Lipitor is causing my discomfort. Looking for Plavix unusual side-effects. I know sore muscles are from the Lipitor but they are tolerable.

First things first: please let your doctor know about the sore muscle and don't ignore it since one side effect of statins could cause damage to your kidneys.

I had exactly the same heartburn sensation after I walked a few minutes. I'd sit down in my car or at my desk and take Tums. The pain would go away because I was sitting down, not because of the antacid, adding to my conviction that I had a stomach problem.

I'm a 54 year old male and just had two stents put in my left leg. The doctor put me on Clopidogrel on my first visit and before he did the procedure. The drug constipated me so I stopped taking it. I told his nurse and wanted to make sure if it was okay. I called him back the next day and he said it was okay. I wasn't told I had to take Clopidogrel until the stents were placed and was in recovery. I asked how long I would have to take it and he said for several weeks. Several means three tog needs to me, but doesn't sound right after reading these comments. My other leg needs a stent too, but I'm not sure I want to pursue the stent(s). After 7 days, my left leg still bothers me and I am constipated. I'm trying different things to make this work like prune juice, high fiber fiber foods, a fiber supplement and a laxative. This worked today and I've consumed the same things today. I'll see if it works again! Any suggestions would be appreciated.

KG, Four years, ditto. Four stents, ditto. (very)Occasional bruising, ditto. Still on 75mg Clopidogrel plus 81mg aspirin daily. Hemoglobin consistently measures 20. Recently had a colonoscopy, negative for any intestinal bleeding. Day after tomorrow is my 85th birthday. Feeling fine in all respects. I will stay on these meds into the indefinite future.

JL......good to hear your doctor is at least flexible. No one knows how it will affect you, generally, but the misery it caused at least bears scrutiny. I had one stent about 16 years ago, and they gave me Plavix, which I reacted to immediately with hives etc. The doc only put me on baby aspirin and that stent is still clear. after my HA in 2012, he put me on Effient. Now, after a year, he took me off Effient, because I complained of extreme fatigue and excessive bruising, and since I have arthritis, Tylenol was worthless to me. I had three stents put in last time, different arteries. He scheduled me for six week checkup yesterday, and thinks it is going OK. I will have next complete exam in six months.

Meanwhile, he told me to change my statin to every other day, as I complained of muscle pain unrelated to arthritis, and call in 2 weeks to see if it helps. It's really a "see what happens" situation now.

I have a friend who has had numerous stents in his leg. He has a genetic propensity, and is pretty young. What I am trying to say with all of this is, that trust your doctor, but get a second opinion if possible. Even the doctors don't agree on treatments. Pharmacists are my go to about meds. Some meds work for one person, and not others. We really DO need personalized medicine, which I see in the future. Good luck, and we all sympathize and empathize.

Richie....I am glad you have found the right combination for your body..Truthfully, most of us would not be here without stents, or some of the meds. Aspirin remains the old standby for so much. Continued good health.

I had a stent put in my LAD a year ago. I take Plavix, Aspirin & a statin (Lipitor). I can only take aspirin for maybe a month and it causes a lot of Gastro. problems with severe lower abdom. Cramps. I think Plavis is ok to take but the Aspirin does a number on my Guts, CRAMPS! I take a couple of days off of Aspirin and then go back to it again. Is there anyone who has problems with Aspirin?

My Dr. said I should not stop aspirin at all but he has no solution to the problem. I don't know whats worse possible blood clot or rip out my Intestines!! Appreciate any help anyone might be able to give.

Are you taking 81mg enteric type aspirin? The enteric one is supposed to be gentle on the stomach lining and to be absorbed in the intestine.

I'm a 55 year old asian male. I have 2 Xience V DES on my coronary arteries since Sep 2013, I'm currently taking Plavix, Metoprolol, Lisinopril and 81 mg Aspirin daily. I jog a mile at least 4X a week. I bruise easily but other than that I feel great!

Update on my March 25 posting, since being off Effient and changing dosage of Crestor. About a week after going off Effient, the blood thinner, I noticed I had more energy and my sleep patterns were better. That continues, and I am not napping anymore, so must have been that. Can't tell about if the Crestor has or hasn't had an effect. Because of the type of arthritis I have, I am in pain lower extremities all the time, so very difficult to tell if reducing the dosage to one tablet every other day is lessening muscle pain. I still have a lot. My cardio, and, primary both check my leg and neck arteries regularly.

If I didn't have this pain, I would be feeling normal above the hips. :)

I have stents two blockages of 85% I think they are the steel ones will have to look that up. one blockage of 25% that they are keeping a eye on..

I am on Clopidogrel 75 mg, for a year and 8months now..I have had a lot of hair loss..And my bone scan went from 1.5 to 3 in less than two years..Now have osteoporosis , and spine and joint pain and fatigue so bad when I take the clopidogrel I cannot do hardly anything.

I also have Lyme disease, I feel 100% worst when taking the clopidogrel ..Want to get off of that med, the Dr told me I would be on it for a year..Last time I seen him he told me I could back off of it once a week once a month..I can hardly do that ..I started back on it 7 days ago and have been down every day ..Taking pain meds and it also breaks my sleep pattern..I have went to so many sites and read on this and it is very dangerous..

I thought at first it was my lyme but when going off of it for a few weeks to have a scope done..I felt so much better..I have hard time with Crestor too..Fatigue, joint pain headaches and so on..How can this be so good for a person with so many side effects..The Heart Dr said that the crestor was damaging my muscles so he wanted me to go on Liptor..I had been on that before the stents and I cannot take it at all.

I seen in the question about Natokenase ..Has anyone tried that at all? With me already backing off of the Clopidogrel and not having any trouble I am very much thinking about going on that Natokenase ..

I now have to figure out what cholesterol meds to take.I have just tried about every one out there..They do the same thing ..Pain in legs and joint pain fatigue and headaces and just feeling like I have the flu ..That is the way I feel every day with my Lyme and these meds just make them 100% worst..Any comments on this please..

Also have read that Aloe Vera juice helps lower cholesterol ..Did start taking it for my esophagus to try and heal it ..IT worked I am feeling better with that, the meds they wanted me to take for the esophagus, side effect was damaging the bones and spine.So I did not want to take it, but tried for a like a week ..Too many side effects and told the Dr, he said I could read on it and try it to see if it make my esophagus feel better and after doing it for a week it was some better I am still taking it and do not have the heart burn or the gastritis ..

I had an angina attack in November 2007 and had two stents inserted.

The surgeon who did the operation put me on Clopidogrel. He said that patients who had been on it for six months, had suffered with blood clots, and I should stay on it for twelve months, to give the body a chance to form a smooth lining inside the stent.

Annually I have a stress test, and the consulting cardiac doctor at the hospital, suggested that I should always remain on the drug, but there was no need to return for another stress test after my last test in 2013.

I find that I get large bruising from even the smallest knock and have to be careful shaving.

I recently had an accident involving lacerations to the forehead, which involved a lot of blood flow. I would like to come off the drug, which I have been taking for six and a half years, and will be talking to my cardiologist in a few weeks

75 yrs old female. Was having back pain under shoulder blades, sweating profusely, and feeling faint actually fainted twice. Had 90% blockage of main artery. Received DES an on plavix 75mg and aspirin 81mg each 1 a day. Has been 60 days. Problem is I'm still feeling faint upon small exertion. Actually fainted during recent mammogram. Doctors seem stumped, any suggestions or comments?

Tom, I am still on just a regular aspirin after going off Effient, which I was on for a year after my HA. I go for a stress test next month, so don't know if this regime is working OK or not. I agree that the bruising one experiences on the blood thinners is worrisome... and cosmetically unappealing. I had bruises from head to toe, but since going on aspirin only, nary a bruise.

Since everyone's body is different, unfortunately, we (or our doctors) just experiment. What else can we do? I have an old stent in, that was done 16 years ago. I didn't take any blood thinners, and that stent is still clear. Since then, I had a HA and three stents put in. I never feel well, even tho my doc says I won't have another HA. It's life changing for sure.

Pinky... sorry about your problems. It is scary to feel faint or actually faint. Have you had a neurological work up just in case? Do you take other meds besides those you mentioned? If so, you might have your pharmacist evaluate any possible interactions. Doctors sometimes miss things. Lots of times in fact.

pinky, I get the exact same symptoms and am on same meds & dosage. Also have systolic hypertension. Have 4 stents, and all of this over 11 years. I'm very active, often strenuously, and that's when the symtoms manifest. I've found that all I can do then is stop and plop into bed for 2 or 3 hours. That gives immediate relief, and is the only thing that does.

Great place to exchange views..thanks eachone of you..same question on howlong it is required..let me add few of my observations..case history: 3 stents, MI with Scar and LV dys...with all the med, meto, clopid, aspirin, statin discomfort six months after Heart attack: another angio: CAD still active, rest all ok...
The critical question is: 1. why medication is not helpful in stopping the plaque formation in artery which caused all of us to undergo this experience? 2. No medications can fix a scar in the heart. Is it so?

Has anyone noticed any hair loss with the plavix? OR just plan feeling like you have the flu..I have been on this for over a year and now my hair is really falling out..They say blood thinners do this!

Great forum. I am a 53 year old female - 3 DES stents inserted following angiogram. Had no idea what these were prior to the hospitalization. Was not given a choice between these and bare metal stents. Had one 95% blockage and another 85%. prior to stents - type 2 diabetes from gestational diabetes and 4 kg overweight - job stress but always had normal ECG and stress tests. Stents went in on the 3rd June 2014 following a week of jaw pain.

Have been put on the following new drugs - 90mg Brilinta (ticageloar) twice a day; 100mg Aspirin ( spren); and Simvastatin 80 mg one at night. Today - 19 days I noticed a bruise on the inside of my left knee. Been reading this forum and it appears that you damned if you do and damned if you don't. Although many of you have been on these combinations for years without adverse side effects. My cardiologist also mentioned being on the thinners for a year but on aspirin forever. It's early days for me so will repost..

All I can say is I had 2 regular stents for 2 100% blockage. Still have a 90% blocked artery. I have been on the same Rx for 11 years. I was given the option at 5 years to stop the Plavix. I was told by cardiologist that there was NO evidence to support continued use. I said NO evidence to stop either is there? So he gave the option and I have taken Plavix and full strength aspirin for 11 years now. Altace, Toperol XL, Zocor, Niasban, Fish Oil, Folic, Selenium, multi vitamin, I exercise, eat better not perfect. But I believe if it ain't broke don't fix it.

I used to bruise much much more. Occasionally I do. But I am still kicking and I will take it as long as they let me. If something works I stick with it. I have heard too many people stop and low and behold another heart attack. I don't want another one. It took 4 MI's for them to figure out what was going on. So now I am going into year 12 of overtime. I was a heart attack volunteer so if anyone wants my advice for whatever it's worth, feel free to comment.

John

I have been on Cloplavix for 6 and a half years since having two stents fitted after an angina attack.

The doctor that did the operation told me, that patients had a clot after stopping Cloplavix after six months, so I should stay on it for a year.

I have a stress test annually (the next in 2 days time). The cardiologist who administers the test says there is no reason why I should stop.

Three weeks ago I had an accident and severely lacerated my head and the blood loss was tremendous.

In two days I will be asking if I can stop.

I had 70 % blockage and two medicated stents were put 10 weeks back. I stated the shortness of breath after two weeks and still continuing. This is all the time whether rest or activity During activity it is slightly more.

I am on Plavix once a day, Aspirin 75 mg with BP and cholesterol reducing medicines. Please advise how to stop this breathlessness.

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