What Is Clopidogrel Used For?
Some people may wonder, "What is clopidogrel used for?" Clopidogrel is used to help prevent harmful blood clots from developing in people who have had a recent heart attack, a stroke, or severe chest pain requiring hospitalization. Clopidogrel is also used to help prevent such blood clots in people with peripheral artery disease (PAD). "Off-label" uses of clopidogrel include using it to prevent the formation of a harmful clot following certain procedures.
Clopidogrel bisulfate (brand name: Plavix®) has been licensed to help prevent harmful blood clots from forming in people who have:
- Had a recent heart attack.
- Had a recent stroke.
- Severe leg pain due to a condition called peripheral artery disease (PAD).
- Been hospitalized with chest pain from unstable angina or have had a certain type of heart attack. These conditions are often known as acute coronary syndrome.
Clopidogrel has been proven in large clinical trials to reduce the risk of future harmful blood clots forming in people who have had a recent heart attack. Clopidogrel is often used in combination with other medications to further reduce the risk of another heart attack. These often include cholesterol-lowering medications, aspirin, and blood pressure medications.
Clopidogrel has been proven in clinical trials to reduce the risk of having another stroke. When harmful clots block blood vessels and decrease the blood supply to the brain, this is called an ischemic stroke. Clopidogrel helps prevent this from reoccurring. However, clopidogrel is not useful in patients with a type of stroke called a hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by bleeding into the brain.