What is ‘Clopidogrel’?
Clopidogrel is a generic drug which is available in many different brands and its active ingredient is ‘Clopidogrel bisulfate’. The drug is used to prevent platelet aggregation which is essential for clot formation in an instance of bleeding. The usefulness of this mechanism is clearly shown in research when a person is likely to develop spontaneous blood clots or is having an increased risk of developing the same. Therefore, it reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks in such individuals although the drug is only started when the benefit of using Clopidogrel clearly outweigh the risk of developing side effects, particularly the risk of uncontrollable bleeding.
What are the side effects of this drug?
The most concerning side effect of Clopidogrel is the bleeding manifestations and these can take place either superficially on the skin or else within the body as in the case of intestinal bleeding, brain hemorrhage or else even bleeding in other body organs.
Thus, following side effects should be taken seriously in patients taking Clopidogrel.
-Black, blood stained or tarry colored stools
-Blood stained vomits or phlegm following bouts of coughing
-Epistaxis or bleeding from the nose
-Weakness or numbness that develops suddenly particularly affecting one side of the body.
-Sudden changes in the vision
-Sudden onset speech difficulties
-Occurrence of sudden severe headache and confusion
-Easy bruising and bleeding in the skin
-Chest pain and heaviness with feeling of nausea and sweating.
When these side effects are noticed, one should inform his or her health care provider and obtain necessary advice as soon as possible or seek treatment at a emergency medical unit.
Furthermore, there are other signs which usually occur in patients taking Clopidogrel but would not be as serious as the manifestations mentioned before. These include, mild headache, dizziness, stomach pain, runny nose, cough as well as sore throat. These manifestations will most likely to be transient and in case they persist for a prolonged period and continues to be troublesome, one needs to obtain doctors advice in relieving such manifestations appropriately.
Lastly, as with any other drug, allergic reactions can manifest in susceptible individual who use Clopidogrel and therefore should watch out for side effects such as itching of the body, swelling of the lips, tongue and the throat, breathing difficulties…etc and seek urgent medical attention as soon as possible.
In conclusion, it should be stated that, although this article is comprehensive in dealing with side effects related to Clopidogrel, one should refer the manufacturer literature in order to obtain a more detailed description of the same.