Plavix Side Effects and Risks

Plavix, the so-called super aspirin that has been touted as better than aspirin in preventing heart attacks and strokes, has not proven itself to be effective in recent studies. Plavix, which costs hundreds of times more than aspirin, has not outperformed simple aspirin in most patient groups. In fact, it has been linked to risks of death from gastrointestinal hemorrhage.

A study released in the March 2006 meeting of the American College of Cardiology concluded that the costs and risks of Plavix are too great to recommend its use. The study was funded by the Plavix manufacturer, the Paris-based Sanofi Synthelabo, which hoped to double revenues by showing the effectiveness of Plavix.

Dr. Deepack Bhatt of the Cleveland Clinic headed the study of 15,603 people in 32 countries. The study found that Plavix did not reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes in most groups as compared to aspirin. There was a slight improvement with Plavix use in patients who had established heart disease, but not enough to prove effectiveness without further study. The improvement in this group was counterbalanced by an increased risk of death from hemorrhage. In patients without a history of heart disease, heart-related deaths almost doubled after using Plavix.

This study is consistent with a study published in the January 20, 2005 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, which found that patients taking Plavix had 12 times more ulcers than those taking aspirin with a heartburn medicine. This finding was significant, since both the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association had recommended the expensive Plavix, because they believed it caused fewer ulcers than aspirin.

If you or a loved one is using Plavix, you might want to consult your health care provider about the likelihood of side effects. If you have already been injured by using Plavix, you should have your case evaluated by a competent Plavix attorney. See Plavix Attorney and Lawyer to learn how to find one.