Frequently asked questions for Aspirin + Clopidogrel
Aspirin + Clopidogrel
Q. Why have I been prescribed Aspirin+Clopidogrel?You may have been prescribed Aspirin+Clopidogrel if you had a heart attack, were treated with stents in your coronary arteries, or had coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG).
Q. Is Aspirin+Clopidogrel a blood thinner?Yes, Aspirin+Clopidogrel is a type of blood thinner. It works by preventing platelets (type of blood cells) from sticking together and forming clots. This action of Aspirin+Clopidogrel helps in preventing conditions like heart attack or stroke in people with heart disease, who have recently suffered a heart attack or severe heart-related chest pain (unstable angina).
Q. Can I drink alcohol while taking Aspirin+Clopidogrel?It is not advised to take alcohol while taking Aspirin+Clopidogrel, as alcohol may increase your chance of stomach bleeding. As a result, you may vomit blood (which may be bright red blood or black/dark brown like coffee grounds) or you may have bloody or black tarry stools. Discuss with your doctor if you are not sure.
Q. Do I need to stop Aspirin+Clopidogrel before surgery?Your doctor will decide whether you need to stop taking Aspirin+Clopidogrel before any surgery or treatment or not. Usually, if a surgery or treatment is planned beforehand, the doctor may stop Aspirin+Clopidogrel a few days (usually 7 days) before the surgery or treatment owing to the increased risk of bleeding during the procedure. You should not stop taking Aspirin+Clopidogrel on your own without discussing it with your doctor.
Q. What is the most important information I need to know about Aspirin+Clopidogrel?Aspirin+Clopidogrel may cause serious or life-threatening bleeding. Moreover, you may bruise easily and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop even if you have a minor injury like a small cut while shaving. Get emergency medical help if you notice excessive or prolonged bleeding. You should inform your doctor if you notice black tarry stools or if there is blood in the urine. Be vigilant on any signs of stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness (one side or both sides of the body), difficulty walking, mental confusion, slurred speech, dizziness and any unexplained headache. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop any such signs of stroke as stroke is an uncommon side effect of Aspirin+Clopidogrel and needs urgent medical attention as it can otherwise be fatal.
Q. Who should not take Aspirin+Clopidogrel?Aspirin+Clopidogrel is not recommended for people who are allergic to it or any of its ingredients. Do not take Aspirin+Clopidogrel if you have or ever had severe liver disease, stomach ulcers, bleeding in the brain (stroke or a transient ischemic attack, also known as TIA), or if you have a bleeding disorder known as hemophilia (disease in which blood does not clot normally). Additionally, avoid taking Aspirin+Clopidogrel if you are trying to get pregnant, already pregnant, or breastfeeding.
Q. What if I forget to take a dose of Aspirin+Clopidogrel?If you forget to take a dose of Aspirin+Clopidogrel, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next scheduled dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed one as this may increase the chances of developing side effects.
Q. How long do I need to take Aspirin+Clopidogrel after stent insertion?Your doctor will suggest the exact duration for which you may have to take Aspirin+Clopidogrel. The duration will be decided after considering various factors like the illness you are being treated for, type of stent inserted, any episodes of bleeding experienced by you during treatment, etc. Usually, Aspirin+Clopidogrel is prescribed for a minimum duration of 1 year. However, it is advised to follow your doctor's advice precisely to get maximum benefit of Aspirin+Clopidogrel. Do not stop the medication on your own, consult your doctor first. Sudden discontinuation may increase the chances of clot formation in the stent, heart attack and can even lead to death.
Q. What should I avoid while taking Aspirin+Clopidogrel?Avoid activities that may increase your chances of bleeding. Be extra careful while shaving or brushing your teeth to prevent bleeding. Also, you should avoid taking painkillers, but if you need to take one like ibuprofen for joint pain, headache, backache, etc. then consult your doctor first. This is because taking pain killers with Aspirin+Clopidogrel may increase your chances of developing a stomach ulcer and bleeding. Refrain from taking excessive alcohol with Aspirin+Clopidogrel as it can irritate your stomach and lead to a stomach ulcer as well.