The anti-clotting drug Plavix has been heavily advertised on television to reduce the risks of heart attacks and strokes. This medication is frequently prescribed to people who have had a stent placed in a coronary artery, especially if the stent has been treated with a drug to keep the artery open. In this circumstance, Plavix can be a lifesaver by preventing clots from forming around the metal mesh of the stent. The FDA has just issued a stern warning that certain powerful heartburn medications may counteract the effectiveness of Plavix.
Omeprazole, also available as Prilosec OTC, cuts the power of Plavix nearly in half. That means patients who are relying on Plavix to prevent a stroke or heart attack may not be getting the protection they expect. A related heartburn medicine, Nexium, is likely to have a similar impact on Plavix. Other medications including Tagamet, Diflucan, Nizoral, Felbatol, Prozac, Serafem, Luvox and Ticlid may also interact with Plavix. Anyone taking this anti-clotting medicine with other medications should discuss the potential for interactions with his healthcare provider.