Plavix Ineffective for 14% of Users & May Increase Risk of Heart Attacks

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Plavix, the blood thinner manufactured by Bristol-Myers and French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Aventis, was marketed as a "super aspirin" type drug to help patients with their heart by giving cardiovascular benefits and it also said to be safer on a patient's stomach. However, studies have shown that Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate) may have increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes and been ineffective for a significant part of the population.

What Manufacturers Knew about Plavix Side Effects & Risks

Plavix lawyers say that while it's still unclear as what and when Bristol-Myers and Sanofi knew about Plavix side effects - what they do know is that there were certain clinical trials that were going on after the drug was approved which showed that Plavix increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes and was ineffective for up to 14% of the population.

  • Plavix Side Effects & Risks: Increased Risk Of Heart Attacks & Strokes.The first trial in 2006 basically showed that these drugs were ineffective for the purposes of primary prevention, meaning for patients who didn't show any clear symptoms of heart disease, but had high cholesterol or other risk factors. It also showed that Plavix plus aspirin was not only ineffective for this primary prevention of heart disease or a heart attack, but that it actually increased the risk in this population of a heart attack or stroke.
  • Plavix Side Effects & Risks: Drug Ineffective On 14% Of Population. They also found that patients could determine whether they have a risk for this core metabolism by simply taking a blood test to determine whether or not they have this particular genetic difference. Up to 14 percent of the population has this genetic difference where they can't metabolize the drug; it's completely ineffective because these patients aren't able to break it down.
It wasn't until recently that these drug companies put on what's called a black box warning which gives doctors specific instructions that they can order a genetic blood test to determine whether or not you're one of those 14 percent of patients for which Plavix is ineffective. So, there's a warning that doctors now get that they didn't get more than a year ago. It's an expensive test - upwards of $500 - but it's certainly worth it to know whether or not the drug that you're taking, which potentially could increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke, is going to be effective at all for you or if you're part of this genetic variable.

Blood Disorder TTP & Gastrointestinal Hemorrhaging

Plavix has also been linked to thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and gastrointestinal hemorrhaging. TTP is a rare but sometimes fatal form of blood disorder in which patients develop tiny blood clots in vessels that supply blood to many of the body's organs of the body. Gastrointestinal hemorrhaging is another name for bleeding ulcers which can be fatal when blood clots are formed in the body.

FDA Strengthens Warnings about Plavix

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) strengthened Plavix's existing black box warnings earlier this year regarding the fact that certain patients who had a particular genetic difference were unable to metabolize Plavix properly; thus, diminishing its effectiveness.

There was another warning with respect to Plavix that was issued by the FDA in November 2009 basically saying that heartburn medications such as Prilosec and Nexium - if taken with the drug - could also prevent it from working. So, apparently there's a key ingredient in heartburn medications which blocks the same liver enzyme that needs to break down Plavix which decreases its efficacy.

If you've been injured after taking Plavix or believe that you may be part of the up to 14% of the population who took Plavix with no result, contact a Plavix attorney Plavix lawyer to discuss your situation. You may be entitled to damages for your Plavix injuries.

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