SoS: Anti-clotting drugs – Fiona’s story

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May 8, 2013 | 44 Comments

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  1. I have also stopped taking Clopidogrel a few weeks back and feel exactly the same as Fiona so I am going to take it again and see if these feelings of anxiety go away. I also have have numbness and tingling down my one arm. I will post an update in a few days time.l

    • My name is Jane and I also was taken off clopidogrel , six months ago and I too had the same happen to me. I landed up in A&E a week ago now .Thinking I had unstable angina again .but Dr said it wasn’t . I had pains in my arms neck and in my chest . I felt really unwell .so no explanation by the Dr why I felt like this at all . My own Dr puzzled ,but she put me back on clopidogrel given my history of a heart attack . No wiser now about why I felt the way I did .

    • I’ve been trying to get off of this was well. It’s been 2 years and I’m still not right. Still have numbness, anxiety, severe mood swings, hallucinations, my eyesight and since of smell has also been effected. It’s absolutely horrible. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who is going through this. This addiction has cost me my family my friends and my life as I knew it. I thought I had lost my mind. Please let me know if anyone is getting any help with this and if so, how.

  2. I wonder what happened to this case of Fiona. It’s been 6 months since. Did she finally get off Clopidogrel or is she still on it. I am concerned since i was started on Clopidogrel 2 weeks ago by my Doctor and im afraid i may be going down the same path. Being sick is hell, worrying for the worst is much is more. Is there a way out?

  3. I had a heart attack a month ago and was put on Clopidogrel, aspirin and Atorvastatin. Ever since I haven’t slept well at night, I am constantly anxious and worried about things and can’t seem to think of anything happy. Its all depressing thoughts and I am aware of my heart all the time and any pains and then I get worried I am having another heart attack. Its a vicious circle. I got depression 30 years ago and I never want to go back to that place, I was lucky to get myself out of it without help, in those days it was valium, but I just kept it for emergencies. I am 56 years old and a busy mother with an elderly mother to look after, I don’t have time to be ill again. I just spend my days worrying about things I wouldn’t have dwelt on before. And now reading that there are withdrawal symptoms I want to come off before I get dependent on it.

    • My mother was on this and ended up in skilled nursing. Panic depression anxeity also not able to walk incontinent, and she said I think I am losing my mind. I had doctors stop this medicine two days ago and she has greatly improved. My mother. Was driving, playing bridge in a matter of weeks became an invalid. This medicine is a death sentence. All test say she is fine!!!! In the hospital they wanted to send her home.

  4. My PCP advised me to stop taking Plavix a week ago. I had a heart attack with one stent implant in September, 2012. I am happy to be off the Plavix. I bruise very easily and see this is one of the side effects of taking the medication along with some other more complicated things. I am keeping close tabs on my body and will reassess often into the future.

  5. i was taking Plavix after having one stent.
    last april i had four stent . was taken off plavix and put on clopidogrel.
    it’s been over a year since the last stents .
    then i bruised easily and had red blotches up both of my arms, outside hands are covered and if i shlightly bang myslelf, a clot forms under the bruise.
    i stopped , so i cut the clopidogrel in half for a while……..still bruised .
    i stopped all together and have been on half of a baby asprin. still bruise and clot.

    i have narrow veins and an Aorta 1/3 stopped up………….what to do?
    i’m almost 80 so have given up . damned if i do and damned if i don’t??????????????

    • I am trying to wean my fiance off Plavix tok because it’s such a dangerous drug. Have you tried adding any supplements to your diet such as hawthorn, serrepeptase or nattokinase/garlic by Kyolic. Asparagus helps prevent blood clots just like the rutin on hawthorn. Serrepeptase and nattokinase/garlic help reduce fibrin and platelet aggregation.

  6. I had unstable angina and had 4 stents April 2012.
    I was put on plavix/clopidogrel, aspirin 81, crestor and amlodipine. Since my event, i have been overly conscious of my heart. I also get dizzy sometimes, which never happened before my event. I have been to the er several times since April 2012 and have had numerous test like Ekg, echo cardiogram, stress test, nuclear test, CT Scans and a whole host of blood work. Everything always checks out fine but i still have major fears. I was told it was anxiety and all in my head. I have not filled out a VAERS REPORT yet but plan to. I wish everyone luck and pray that all works out. Please keep us all updated on progress of coming off of plavix as it might help the rest of us and the doctors who prescribe it.

  7. I was placed on plavix and baby aspirin back in April 2014 following a heart attack and one stent placement. I started to notice side effects from the plavix immediately – angina, shortness of breath, dizziness, foggy headed, numbness on left side of my body, etc. Fast forward 7 months to November I decided I had enough of these horrible side effects and started to gradually wean myself off of the plavix. The withdrawal symptoms are worse than the side effects while still taking the drug. The angina is more intense and so is the shortness of breath. But I’m almost done coming off of it so hopefully all will get better soon.

      • Are you weaning off plavix, Gloria? Im told i can go off, been on for 3 years was told before i could stop it but I been so nervous abt stopping it wondering if their is side effects. I dont see no new updates from people on here that already posted before so i dont know if thats good or bad? 🙁

    • How long did it take you to wean off the Plavix? Did you stay on aspirin? My father just had surgery for PAD 8 weeks ago, and the Plavix is taking him down (breathing, muscle weakness, joint pain).
      Your experience could certainly help. He is 72, but VERY strong, PRIOR to this. I’m afraid this is going to kill him 🙁

  8. I had a slight heart attack in Jan 2014. Put on Clopidogrel and baby aspirin. Had angiogram, echo and MRI and had results finally in November and the diagnosis was maybe a blood clot got caught in a very small junction. I have also been given 4 other reasons and its all contributing to anxiety as I am so conscious of my heart, how its beating, fast or slow, any pains, I dream about it and wake up thinking about it, its just a nightmare. I thought I would try to come off nice and slowly starting 9 days ago. I just clipped a little off and got up to three quarters but became breathless, got palpitations, anxiety, had an anxiety attack and weird feelings so went to a&e and they checked every thing and said I was okay. But been breathless since and anxious. The trouble is that after the heart attack I didn’t know if the pains or weird feelings were from the heart attack, the angiogram, the statins, heart damage or Clopidogrel. Its been a horrible year of worry and its caused me adrenal fatigue and thyroid problems. I am just a mess but told only in November that any damage to the heart is very slight and I have good pumping action. But why the odd palpitation, feeling I am going to have another heat attack at any time, any pain and it becomes an anxiety attack. I think the problem is that we are told if you have one heart attack you are more liable to get another one and all the symptoms of an impending heart attack send me into a downward spiral. I have gone bck onto the full dose again as I couldn’t take the anxiety and worrying. So I don’t know what side effects the Clopidogrel is giving me or is it the heart, I keep thinking I have other problems that haven’t been found out. My husband walked out on me so I don’t have any support and my Mum is 90 and I have two children so I have to support them. Before the heart attack I was able bodied and with no anxiety at all, now I am a quivering wreck.

    • Hi,

      I had a NSTEMI (small heart attack) 6 weeks ago and felt/feel like you desecribe but I can feel I’m getting the symptoms less and less so it’s recovery from the heart attack I suspect..

  9. I had been on Plavix since my heart attack and implant of a stent two years ago.
    I also suffer from Diabetes (Insulin dependent), Chronic Pain and am on Morphine, Lexapro, Pariet and blood pressure tablets. I stopped Plavix two ago after it was found to be contributing to gout.The gout was not responding to normal treatment but stopped 3 days after stopping Plavix.
    I have read that withdrawal symptoms may be delayed if a person is on a drug for a lengthy time.
    I believe the symptoms of, perspiration, dizziness, tiredness, loss of appetite and confusion are associated with stopping Plavix. Other factors may have contributed mainly the stopped interaction between the drugs.
    The lack of available information in regards to interaction between drugs is a concern.
    There were two warnings stickers the pharmacist placed on the Plavix packet. “Do not stop taking this medicine abruptly” (if there are little side affects why such a warning) and ” This medicine may effect mental alertness and/or coordination” (If so what happens when stopped)
    Another concern is Generic brands. They may contain the same active ingredient but the medium used may differ, usually a cheaper one. That is another area that lacks data.

  10. I have had phrmacogenetic testing and am a poor drug metabolizer who agreed, against my better judgement to take Clopidigrel here in the UK. I only agreed to take 1/4 the recommended dose. Id had a migranous stroke with no other risk factors for stroke other than a history of migraine with aura which eight separate specialist consultants in the UK completely ignored.

    I only agreed to take Clopidogrel two months after the stroke and only at 1/4 the recommended dose after discussion with a doctor in the States.

    In the past three months on this drug, I have experienced alarmingly increased bruising, severe constipation, urinary frequency without UTI and overt grumpiness.

    Because I lost much of my vision with the stroke, I am more likely to have an accident than previously. I now bruise so easily on this drug that I am more concerned with a hemorrhage in my brain from an accident than I am of another stroke. No one in the UK will discuss this with me. Even the good consultant cant meet with me again until four months from now.

    I cannot believe how badly my hand hurts typing this with one finger after bumping my hand this afternoon into that woman’s carrier bag which I hadnt seen at all.

    Last night, after speaking with a govt sponsored information line in the States (The “Poison Control Center” in California, I was advised that, depending on the results of a particular blood test, it was safe for me to reduce to 1/8 the recommended dose of Clopidogrel .

    I dont know how long I must be at 1/8 the dose before I stop it altogether.

    If I am having these side effects on 1/4 the dose… what would have happened to me on the full dose is a terrifying thought.

    I cant make a fist with my right hand. My fingers are each half again the size of my left hand and Ive been keeping my hand on a bag of frozen peas.

    My blood tests since this damned infarct have been normal.

    I want to stop this d**med drug. How soon can I safely stop it?

    The hospital where I was seen for the stroke
    did not do essential testing at the time. A consultant neurologist ordered them four months later. The results were normal.

    There’s a reason the UK has the lowest stroke survival rate in Europe.

    My GP is on holiday. I want to stop this drug and not take another

    Does anyone have experience of being on an already low dose of this drug and getting off it?

    My whole right forearm now aches and is blueish with evidence of bruising from the hand seeping into the forearm through basic gravity. It hurts.

    Im angriest at myself because even at 1/4 the dosage, I knew I should not take this drug.

    I refuse to spend my life being fragile and enfeebled by the medical profession or anything else.

    What do I do?

    Thank you.

  11. Like every one else taking plavix + asprin is can be a worry, but my question is are the two
    drugs mentioned supposed to do the same (blood thinners) so why are both prescribed , i had
    an enlarged aorter (55) stents implanted plus veins to the kidney,s on my last visit doctor said
    blood was passing through my kidney,s to quick is this a result of taking both drugs.
    Look forward to your reply

  12. I have read the previous stories and wanted to share what I have experienced during the last ten years. I am now 83, as of Sunday Dec. 13th, and have several health issues. In 1995 I had surgery on detached retina. One month later I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I was informed that sometimes surgery can bring on this disease when the body cells line up to take care of damaged part of body. No one in my family ever had RA so I kind of believe them. This disease can cause much pain in many parts of body’s muscles and joints. I also have C.O.P.D. and a year ago I had heart attack leading to having two stents implanted. I also, was put on Clopidogrel and one baby aspirin. My health has deteriorated quite a bit due to mainly my C.O.P.D. I am weak and cannot walk too long without becoming breathless. I asked heart doctor if my heart attack had any bearing and she said no. I have to become more active to get strength back. I have always had noises in my ears since 2000 when had tumor removed from inner ear canal. I believe they sound louder now and could be from the Clopidogrel, but it is bearable since I have always had it. As far as the instant bruising, yes I too get much of that. I just slightly bump the door jam and blood spurts out so easily. This is more the results of the aspirin, because I have had this problem before my heart attack because I always take the aspirin for pain from my arthritis. My husband also had heart attack several years ago and was put on Plavix and aspirin. He also bruised all the time. Doctor took him off the aspirin last month and he rarely bruises now. He is a handyman around the house and is always getting bumps and scrapes. But at lease now he is bruise free. My only beef about that is I was told that to keep a healthy heart is to take two baby aspirin at night. I make sure he has Tumeric every day so maybe that will help. God Bless everyone and get healthy.

  13. After suffering 3 major strokes 9 1/2 years ago I was put on daily Plavix with baby aspirin, along with statins and blood pressure medicines. Being only 40 yrs old at the time I had to return to working at the shipyard asap, despite the obvious medical limits. The extreme bruising was so bad I wore long sleeves & thick jeans at all times. Even the slightest scratch would unleash a torrent of blood I often found difficult to control. Dizziness & confusion plaqued me often. Light headed & unbalanced is no way to stand on tall ladders and weld steel. As a year round motorcycle rider I was terrified of a car running into me and bleeding out before the ambulance arrived. I made what preparations I could (extra thick gloves and work clothes, the best motorcycle gear money can buy) and tried to continue a normal life. Anxiety, panic attacks, ever present brain fog, extreme fatigue and body pains are my constant companions. Despite this I have salvaged a good life out of these obstacles, always plotting on when I discontinue my medications. After 8 years I cut my daily meds in half. Earlier this year the unimaginable happened. An inattentive driver (talking on his phone) ran me & my motorcycle over while I was stopped at a red light. All that safety gear saved my life, but to receive some treatments I had to stop using daily Plavix. After some testing to make sure no risk factors are present, I was instructed to stop Plavix but take a baby aspirin daily. After 3 weeks I feel better mentally & physically. Brain fog is diminished & fatigue is lessened. Hopefully all can feel as good as they try to get off medications. A quality doctor(s) that is one your side is crucial to any successful recovery and I was lucky in that department. I believe the less long term medication a person consumes the better the recovery. Finding the right meds is extremely tough. Good luck to all!!

  14. I’ve been on clopidogrel and atorvastatin for 4 months, have felt toxic since, weaned off of Risperdone over 3 months and was hypomanic, still on long term use of diazepinenes, temazepam, clonazepam, years, and am weaning off those. Can’t sleep, had problems for a couple of years not having bowel movements, and it’s only gotten worse. Had Hep C for 40 years, went through cure, olysio/sylvaldi 4/2015, and have had liver pain since going on heart meds, but was told last night at ER, it was my constipation, not liver causing pain. Had blood (enzymes) checked, urine and ct scan, said all ok. I feel suicidal, and know when my liver hurts. Should I just go off plavix and Lipitor, and take chances? I have started good diet, and have read should cut out all flour, grains and sugar from diet. Cardiologist never mentioned to me, and ha sent checked my cholesterol since I’ve been on meds.

    • You might try a ketogenic diet and daily coffee enema’s for a month and then cut back to every other day on the enema’s. I have done this for over a year and feel so much better as they clean toxins out your liver and put an end to constipation. I use wilson gold organic coffee, you can google them and find their website easily… good luck

  15. I am 55 and have been on plavix and aspirin for approx 5 years since my last cardiac event. This event is by an unknown nature yet due to contributing factors and health history these drugs were prescribed. Yesterday after visiting my cardiologist and voicing my concerns over very severe bleeding he tells me to just stop it…completely…I don’t know if Im going mad and I’m certainly not a medico , but surely that just isn’t safe. Between these two and the Lipitor if cardiovascular disease doesn’t get us then the side effects to the liver may. After reading everything others have said I am more convinced so….I hate these drugs and the effect they have on the body. Good luck to us all that have been put on them.

  16. I had a heart attack 8 months ago and one stent was placed. Went off atorvastatin against the doctor’s wishes because the muscle pain was insane. What was even more insane it that I was being given the drug “just in case” but I didn’t actually have high cholesterol!

    I’m taking plavix and baby aspirin but want off the plavix ASAP. I’m only supposed to be on it one year so that’s four more months to go. I asked to be taken off early and was told I can’t because I could have another heart attack even though I’m 42, no longer overweight, eat fanatically healthy and exercise intensely every single day! What difference is four months gong to make! I’m in the cardiac rehabilitation program too. Frankly I don’t believe a word of their scare tactics and think these so-called doctors are nothing short of drug salesmen anymore. None of their drugs can compare to the lifestyle changes I’ve made.

    I’m also taking pills for high blood pressure, but I do not and nor have I ever had high blood pressure!

    I’m getting sick and bloody tired of doctors who think they are in charge of what goes into my body. I’m about ready to take matters into my own hands and ditch their pills and their profit-making-agendas. I’ve had enough of their denials and non-validating attitudes about side effects too. The cardiac nurse had the nerve to say, the doctor doesn’t agree with you going off…as if it were his decision to make! Frankly, I don’t give a damn what the doctor agrees or doesn’t agree with because I don’t trust their motives for putting me on these pills in the first place! PROFITS OVER PEOPLE, should be their motto.

    • I accept their script, google the drug and chuck the script in the bin. There are no side effects to drugs, just effects. Mostly the cure is worse than the disease.
      Cholesterol drugs are a scam. You won’t die if you stop the bp drug.
      Don’t look to the dr for approval, trust your own instincts.
      There are natural alternatives for most illnesses which don’t leave you feeling like you are at death’s door.
      If you can’t be bothered arguing with them, don’t tell them.

    • Wow! You sound like my twin. I’m 59 now..9 months ago heart attack..a stent ..same 2 drugs..intense muscle pain and went off atvorstatin one moth ago..still intense muscle pain and cramping..talk to nurse tomorrow to tell them I’m stopping Clopidogril..but now I’m scared of what will happen.ive never had high bp or cholesterol..wish I knew the latest research..stop asap all at once or gradual ?Help!

  17. Stent placed rca in February. Said no to statins but agreed to plavix 75mg and a beta blocker which was changed 2x as I had reactions. Now I have stopped plavix yesterday.

    • How are you doing now? I just stopped this morning, the plavix, and now taking regular Bayer aspirin, for a” possible” TIA one year ago. I’m terrified.

      • Isn’t it sad how we are more scared after the heart attack ? I hate drugs..what about let food be thy medicine ??ive made high life and food changes..that should be as good results!especially since bp and cholesterol is fine.
        I’m scared too.??

  18. One Stent was placed on July 2013, due to 70% clogage. They put me on Clopidogrel 75mg daily, Crestor and Dexilant. My joints and muscle hurt daily, when I wake up in the morning my feet are weak and I crawl out of bed. My feet get swolle, I’m also weak and dizzy. I’ve taken many tests and they all come out normal. I also have an aneurysm which my cardiologist tested and told it it pose no threat. Recently, my nuclear stress test came back normal, my cholesterol is fine. I’ve been wanting to get off clopidogrel but afraid of all the withdrawals that I may experiance due to everything I’ve been reading on the web-site also because of my aneurysm. My cardiologist knows that I’m nervous of going cold turkey and told me that I should be fine but it’s up to me. It’s now 5 days that I’m off Clopidogreal but I’m still afraid of how my body is going to react within the next couple of weeks and again because of my aneurysm. What should I do? should I get back on it or take the risk?

  19. I have been on plavix/clopidogrel for five year’s now! In August of 2010 at the age of 40, I chucked an energy drink and began my boxing workout here in Arizona. 30 minutes into my workout I was in full blown atrial fibrillation also know as afib..Since, I’m allergic to aspirin the ER Dr. prescribed 75m of plavix been taking it ever since. It’s been 5 year’s with no afib. However, I do get PVC when your heart triggers early aka palpitations. My yearly visit was on Wednesday the 24th of August 2016. My cardiologist said to stop taking the plavix that most likely but not 100% the energy drink was the main cause for the afib plus I was dehydrated at the time. I decided to take his advice and stopped taking it that night.Well today is day three! Per his orders he never said to stop taking it gradually, he just said stop taking it so I did. Well I feel a little dizzy but nothing major as of yet. Not sleeping but more than 5 hour’s per night it seems. I guess that’s if for now.I will check in nightly to keep you posted. Thank you Jesus!

    • Robert,
      Can you give me an update on your case how did you do after you stopped taking the clopidogrel? You stated on your post you felt ok with the exception of feeling dizzy the first couple of days, how did you do after are you ok or did you have any other complications.

      • I have been taking Clopidogrel for over 5 years (had 3 stents placed 1/2010). I stopped cold turkey two weeks ago – after my cardiologist told me to. I seem to be less tired, but in the last few days have experienced a bit of dizziness. Mostly when going to bed, but the past few days I’ve been having some slight morning balance issues. Hoping this is passing soon, but taking note of changes.

  20. I had a unique type of heart attack in August- Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD). I didn’t need stents, but I was perscribed meds as my artery healed on its own. I’m a 34 year old woman.

    They perscribed a beta blocker (metoprolol), Plavix, asprin, and lipitor. Since I don’t have high cholesterol and they couldn’t give me a good reason for needing it, I never took the lipitor (Thank goodness!). Unfortunately I did take the plavix. I then saw a specialist for SCAD who said that she probably wouldn’t have prescribed it, but since I was already on it, I should keep taking it.

    Fast forward two months- I passed my stress test with flying colors, feeling great, going to rehab. But I was still have this widespread muscle soreness in my chest/neck/back/and left shoulder. So my doc said that I could try stopping the Plavix. I stopped on Friday last week (6 days ago). The first 1-3 days off it felt amazing. I didn’t realize how bad I was feeling, until I felt good again!

    But on Monday (day 4) I began to have what I can only describe as panic attacks. Where I am convinced I’m about to have another heart attack, and each time I feel like I should think of calling 911. Rationally I begin to self assess and recognize that I’m not having the burning chest pain, or left arm/neck/jaw pain that I had with the original heart attack, and I have been able to calm myself down over the space of hours. But it’s a nightmare.

    And as I thought about it and reviewed prior emails to my doc, I was complaining about similar anxiety back in late August just a week or two after starting the drug. I really think there has to be some connection!

    Can someone- anyone- tell me that they have made it through these terrible symptoms and how long it took?

    • Hi Mary,

      I just got off Clopidrogel too about a week back. Did you have any more withdrawal symptoms besides the panic attacks?

  21. I took Eztrol and Clopidogrel for a month following a stress scan that showed cholestrol gathering in artery. After a few days l had severe pains in my left arm, chest pain, belching repeatedly and memory loss , that kept me from sleeping
    I stopped taking both a week ago and the first few days were great but last night l had severe pain under my right armpit and chest pain.Hopefully this is the meltdown and l may start feeling a little better. I will not take either until l see my Gp . I will ask for the results of a blood test and a change of tablet.

  22. doctor put me on plavix 3 months ago. i have never had and heart problems in the past although i do have occasional a-fib. can i quit the plavix cold turkey or maybe wean myself off?

  23. I’VE BEEN ON PLAVIX FOR 9 YEARS . MY DOCTOR JUST TOOK ME OFF IT FOUR DAYS AGO NOW I’M HAVING LOW BLOOD PRSSURE. THERE MUST BE SOMETHING TO THE WITHDRAWAL

    • Anthony,
      I’m curious how this is working for you.. My physician wants me to stop Plavix, however, I’m scared to do so as I’ve been stable for 13 years now after my last heart attack and have been on Plavix for 16 years.

  24. Boy am I glad I found this forum! I was put on Brilinta last year after a stent placement. Just came off of it about a week and a half ago per doctor’s orders. He said I should have no trouble just stopping – no side effects. HA! Then the anxiety started. Night time is especially bad. I wake up in the middle of the night shaking, my heart rate up and wondering WTH? Still on the baby aspirin regimen and have added Valerian as needed to calm me down. What a damned trip!

  25. I got TIA…i was taking clopdogrel 1year ….got stomach ulcer…so i left it..almost 5 month gone …stomach ulcer cured without any treatment..no withdrawal symptoms…

  26. I was given this drug Clopidogrel when I had a heart attack 3 years ago! May 2017 I ended up with a Brain Bleed and a bleeding gastric Ulcer with still ongoing symptoms. I went to the ER and my drug got missed that I was on it. The triage nurse had it on her list but when I had seen the ER Doctor he did not take me off off it! I had a CT Scan done and they confirmed I had a bleed on my brain. 2 months prior I struck my head and not realizing I had done damage. So all that time I was taking this drug. 2 weeks after I went to my Family Doctor and told him I was still having headaches, numbness, anxiety, vomiting and hallucinations from this drug. My family Doctor look at me and said FUCK you have to stop taking them right away! IMPORTANT when you have a bleed you have to stop taking this drug. Since then I had gotten worst and been diagnosed with a Chronic Subdural Hematoma on my brain. Since all my finding this Drug is very dangerous! There are lawsuits about this drug. Please people do your own duligiance and read up on this drug PLAVIX Generic Clopidogrel. Trust me the pain is REAL. Reading your comments I know what you are going through. GOOD LUCK!

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