A recent FDA warning has been released regarding Plavix, a prescription drug commonly prescribed for heart problems. Genetic tests have shown that some patients could face serious complications when using Plavix as an anti-clotting agent. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning was released as a “black box,” which is the most severe rating possible. Doctors have been urged to re-evaluate their use of Plavix as an anti-coagulant, and to consider using a different medication when possible. There are several lawsuits pending in the U.S. involving Plavix users who have experienced problems while taking the medication.
Plavix (Clopidogrel Bisulfate) is a blood thinner that prevents blood from clotting too easily. The active agents in Plavix cause a patient’s blood platelets to stop sticking together, which keeps them from forming clots that can clog arteries. Plavix works by inhibiting the binding of adenosine diphosphate with receptors, which causes the blood composition to become more fluid. The medication is available in tablet form, and dissolves easily in water solutions.
Doctors prescribe Plavix for patients who are at high risk for heart attack or stroke. They also give Plavix to patients who have recently suffered a heart attack or stroke. The blood thinning properties of the medication allow blood to move more freely through constricted blood vessels. Plavix also helps reduce the chance of blood clots forming and causing serious health problems. Patients with hardened arteries, or constricted arteries, are given Plavix so that their blood will circulate more easily. The medication can also lower high blood pressure because the heart doesn’t have to work so hard to circulate blood through the system.
The FDA findings indicate that as much as one-third of the general population could experience significant problems while taking Plavix. Paired with the risks of side effects, the new research prompted the FDA to warn doctors to find alternatives to Plavix when possible. The study showed that a large number of people are lacking an enzyme that is necessary to absorb the useful ingredients of Plavix, and these people may not experience any benefits from the medication at all. Plavix can increase any existing bleeding, such as bleeding ulcers, and lead to further complications. There are tests that can be done prior to taking Plavix to show if a patient is a good candidate for the medication. Unfortunately, the tests are prohibitively expensive and may not be covered by all insurance companies.
If you or a loved one has experienced health complications caused while taking Plavix or similar medications, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with prescription drugs. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.