Editorial note: Fiona’s story (FB) was the first RxISK story filed. It is reproduced here. Data from FDA’s MedWatch system noting withdrawal problems on clopidogrel and Plavix are laid out in the Table at the bottom.
I had a heart attack two years ago and was prescribed Clopidogrel and low dose Aspirin as my after care. Several months ago it was decided that I should come off the Clopidogrel. I was keen to do so as I had begun to get tinnitus and my research suggested that aspirin-like drugs could cause this. As I was told I would have no side effects, I stopped it dead. Three times that week I was admitted by ambulance to hospital with numbness down my left side and headaches. I had an emergency brain scan – all normal. I asked if it could be withdrawal from the Clopidogrel. They said no.
I went back on it. I then started to wean myself slower. As I did the tinnitus stopped. But then I was admitted to hospital again. Worse I had acute anxiety, suicidal thoughts and hallucinations. My doctor told me to go back on Clopidogrel and when I did the symptoms stopped but the tinnitus came back. I then tried an even slower withdrawal. Again I was admitted to hospital – this time with sweats, agitation, anxiety, pain, and headaches. I was told this is in my head and is anxiety in case I have another heart attack – absolute rubbish. This is following a pattern. I know it’s this drug.
The combination of Clopidogrel and aspirin I was told could cause gut problems and has caused me gut problems. But every time I try lansoprazole or omeprazole I get anxiety, hallucinations and numbness.
Can you offer me any advice or where to get help? I know I am chemically dependent on this drug. I don’t want to be on this for the rest of my life as was suggested by the cardiologist. You don’t have a problem on it so keep taking it, he said. What happens if the drug manufacture changes or I become tolerant and need more? What happens if I need surgery and have to stop it in case I have a bleed? I know my body would not take the shock of it stopping suddenly.
I was addicted to the benzodiazepines in the 1980s. It took me 3 years of hell to come off them so I know what withdrawal feels like and this is it. Please can you help? I don’t know who else to ask that will believe me.
The first point to make is that the options are to agree that this is a withdrawal syndrome or else to disbelieve FB. For FB, the stakes are high, including death and significant disability. For the doctors there are no bad consequences of disbelieving her. Indeed one of the consequences of believing her might be to start doubting the standard line about Clopidogrel and other drugs.
Second, FB presents a compelling case for a withdrawal syndrome from clopidogrel. The problems emerge on stopping a drug she had no reason to think could cause a problem, clear up on going back on the drug and reappear on reducing again, and this happens more than once. This is as compelling as it gets.
The first defense for those who don’t want to believe is to say that we cannot see how it could be happening and therefore the problems are not what they might appear to be. Taking this approach requires an alternate explanation – and in this case there is a temptation to pick on the anxiety symptoms and perhaps even the prior history of dependence on benzodiazepines. Someone with less inner conviction than FB may even be persuadable that this is all in her mind.
But there are ways to explain what is happening. Among the types of withdrawal is one that is sometimes termed rebound (Medicine Induced Stress Syndromes, Dependence and Withdrawal). This can lead to rebound heart rate increases in drugs like beta-blockers that slow heart rate and rebound clotting in drugs that reduce clotting. And in fact rebound clotting is well recognized on drugs like aspirin. Another that might fit the bill here is a legacy effect – an enduring effect after a drug is stopped.
Searching in RxISK under Clopidogrel shows that a withdrawal syndrome has been reported on a number of occasions (7 – in FDA’s database these reports come from Europe). European regulators may have many more reports. This frequency is so low that its proportional reporting ratio is close to 0. There is in other words no signal. On the basis of this we are faced with a choice between a compelling description of a withdrawal problem and the data which says no signal. I’m inclined to go with the compelling description. Part of the reason we likely have no signal is that the people affected by problems like this are not doing the reporting; it is doctors who find something like this close to inconceivable who are still the primary reporters of adverse events.
My inclination on reading FB’s report was to believe her. But more research on RxISK throws up further reasons to go with FB. There is a condition that is usually thought of as rare called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). In TTP, platelets in the blood form micro-clots (thrombosis) which can cause problems. But the micro-clots also remove platelets from blood which leads to bleeding (purpura). There are 169 reports of TTP on clopidogrel to FDA. This is a whopping signal – PRR = 22.2. (if the PRR is over 2.0, this is taken as evidence of a signal). We don’t know whether these have happened on withdrawal or not – FDA reporting systems don’t make these distinctions. But there is every chance that a significant number have happened on withdrawal. If recoded as part of a withdrawal syndrome, the signal for withdrawal would be much more salient. There is in fact a great deal of evidence that stopping clopidogrel is linked to problems. Michael Ho and colleagues in JAMA (2008), 299: 532-539 have shown a doubling of mortality and in particular heart attacks in the 90 days after stopping clopidogrel.
TTP or related problems could readily give rise to just the clinical features FB reports, including anxiety, numbness down her arm, hallucinations and the rest.
RxISK also shows 108 reports of hemorrhagic stroke on clopidogrel. Again the signal for this (PRR = 13.6) suggests strongly that clopidogrel may be causing the problem. These strokes may be TTP related cases. The problem may be happening on the drug or on withdrawal – we just don’t know from the way the data is collected at the moment.
Finally another feature of FB’s case is her reaction to lansoprazole and omeprazole. European regulators have advised against combining clopidogrel with proton pump inhibiting drugs like these. Eliminating acid from the gut likely interferes with a range of different drugs, but in this case PPIs and clopidogrel also interact in the liver, causing FB to slip into withdrawal. If you are a doctor you can put FB’s difficulties down to problems on the drug and not withdrawal but if you do this, then you cannot also say to FB that staying on clopidogrel is risk-free. Who moreover should make the choice as to whether she dies of a heart attack or stroke? FB or her doctor? For many suffering a stroke is close to the ultimate horror.
Staying on the drug is not an easy way-out for other reasons. The risks FB outlines are very real – needing surgery, having the drug discontinued, or accidentally ending up without a supply. But in addition, staying on the drug itself cannot be assumed to be without consequences. We think of drugs like aspirin or the statins as acting simply on platelets or cholesterol levels and as a result wonder where the problem might be in staying on them.
But in fact just as the SSRIs do not work solely or even primarily on brain serotonin levels but even more so on blood system serotonin where just like aspirin they reduce platelet adhesiveness, leading to rebound clotting when stopped and cases of TTP and stroke, so also aspirin and statins can lead to extensive changes through the body that affect the brain and other organs. This can include change of personality, or might lead to other conditions improving or getting worse. We know a great deal about what happens soon after we start taking many drugs but know little about what the longer term effects are, and FB is right to be concerned.
It will need great skill to come up an answer. FB may need input from a haematologist rather than a cardiologist. In other cases of withdrawal, I advocate using liquid forms of a drug to wean off very slowly, but Clopidogrel permanently blocks some receptors and so this approach is of no use. She would likely to better stopping Clopidogrel while taking warfarin or a heparin analogue, until her entire supply of platelets have turned over.
FB’s case challenges us to recognize that problems like this may be a manifestation of dependence and withdrawal, and that for instance many aspects of SSRI withdrawal may be intensely physical in origin rather than mental as people sometimes assume. We do not in this case know for instance if the permanent changes Clopidogrel causes in platelets might also happen in brain.
This is a case where patients need a doctor to work closely with them as a team. FB has filled a RxISK report and has taken a copy of this to her doctor.
Since this post was made Fiona has been to a haematologist. A range of screening tests have been done. But no-one has been able to pinpoint what is going wrong.
In the Table below, we reproduce the figures from FDA’s adverse event database specifically linked to Symptoms on Stopping rather than for instance stroke or TTP. What this brings out is there are far more things happening on drugs like clopidogrel that are likely linked to withdrawal than are ever reported as withdrawal problems. These are events that are not captured by current systems, and as a result our image of withdrawal is seriously skewed.
One final point to note that in addition to Clopidogrel (Plavix), there are other grels – Prasugrel, and Ticagrelor. We have not included these here yet, but will update the table in due course.
|Drug||Symptoms on stopping||Abuse||Addiction||Dependence||Intoxication|
Symptoms on Stopping: Any problems that appear on withdrawal or stopping including immediate rebound effects linked to the drug or illness, and prolonged reactions that endure after a drug has been stopped.
Abuse: Any use of a drug in ways other than the orthodox. This may include recreational use or delivery of the drug in ways or in combinations that are not standard medical practice.
Addiction: This covers drug seeking behaviors such as stealing supplies or criminal activity to secure supplies of the drug. It also includes craving for the drug.
Dependence: Dependence leads to difficulties on lowering a dose or stopping a drug. It may be accompanied by tolerance where the taker needs to increase the dose of their drug to achieve the same effect. If you are dependent on a drug, you are hooked or in lay terms addicted, even if you are not behaving like an addict or a junkie.
Intoxication: Any drunken, confused, or other disordered or disinhibited state on the drug.
Also see the blog post, Heartattack and Vine – and Plavix.
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 have been taking Clopidogrel for 2 months, since starting it I’ve had that terrible feeling of being unwell for no apparent reason, I’ve also had heart problems with palpitations and irregular heart beat that I never had before. I’m working with a cardiologist to find out if it’s the drug or I have a heart problem, personally after looking at the side effects I’ve come to the conclusion it’s a very dangerous drug and I’ll be coming off it.
FDA Warning: Liver function warning
This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.
Clopidogrel is broken down by your liver. Some people have genetic differences in how one of the liver enzymes, cytochrome p-450 2C19 (CYP2C19), works. This could slow how this drug is broken down in your body and make it not work as well. Your doctor may test you to see if you have this genetic difference. If you have it, your doctor will prescribe other treatments or drugs instead of clopidogrel.
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.
Hi i’ve been on clopidogrel for about ten years i stopped taking them about 6 weeks ago and ever since i just feel tiered all the time.
How did you come off of it? I’ve been on it almost 8 years and wanting to get off because I’m starting to bruise very easily and it worries me
Why did you stop taking Plavix after 10 years?
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?
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.
I am on clopidigrel, I hate it, I am awake at this tie 3.17am as I get this funny feeling wash over me and then I shake for about an hour. I am due to have spinal surgery and been told to not take clopidgrel for 10 days before. Cardiac just told me there is a risk coming off them and since I have had two TIA I a really worried. I am 79 I feel like telling hospital to cancel my op. the pain I my back stops me doing much
I feel trapped I dont do well on drugs.
It’s there an alternative to clopidigrel that is safer. Who can I talk to regards this. Should I pay a a private cardiologist for advice provided the cost is not high. Any feedback would be gratefully received
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.
How long were you on Plavix?
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.
I am about to try some proteolytic enzymes, garlic by Kyolic, fish oil, etc. because I suspect the Plavix is what is making me very anxious. We’ll see.
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.
Having night mares and unpleasant pain from plavix after 14 years and sciatica so bad I stoped my pain and numbness gone but after 14 days the pain is back not as bad but my thighs are blood red and painful need help
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.
How long did you withdraw?
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 🙁
I had kinked artery (widowmaker) to my heart April 2017, doc installed 2 stints in the same artery. One blockage way 98% the other was 70%. Was given Plavix, baby aspirin, Brilinta as I refused the statin drugs. After 4 mos my doc took me off of brilinta because the stomach, back, shoulder pain, nausea, etc was more than I could take. Same plavix symptoms for me as well, I have been to the ER 3 times and each time everything is fine. So I added vitamin B15 which has helped control angina and I tell myself over and over the xrays show my arteries are open and the side effects are the medication, this seems to help control anxiety. I also go for a brisk walk with wife to confirm that I still have sufficient blood flow.
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.
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..
hi im sorry to hear this . im in the same boat as you .just came of the drug and now feel like iv gone back a year in my health and feel v unwell .
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.
I offer 3 ideas for you my friend….
1. Coffee enema’s daily for at least 6 mos for detox of your body…
2. Juice fasting for 2 to 4 weeks 3 times a year…
3. Ketogenic diet, I lost 30lbs in 6mos and diabetes II is now gone.
My spouse just stopped taking plavix according to Dr orders. It’s been 1.5 years since his heart attack. Since he stopped plavix, he has been experiencing headaches. Some wake him up at night. I have read there is an increase in stroke after stopping. Is there a test anyone can recommend that we request to see why is happening.
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?
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
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.
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!!
Your story is so interesting to me for the fact that you no longer take Plavix (I take clopidogrel). I really need to get off this but I am frightened by these horror stories of impending death.
My body rejects drugs in general, giving me the most horrendous side effects. The only drug they managed to get me on after a stroke in 2012 and a number of TIAs before and since. They were determined I needed to be on something due to the annual TIAs but if I had been aware of the permanent changes caused by Clopidogrel I would have refused.
Now I have too many platelets and was told to stop taking it and take another thinner. I cannot due to the illness it causes. I have been off it a week (Thursday 16th. Jan.) and on Tuesday I had a TIA.
Yesterday I was told I must start taking it again due to the dangers of suffering major stroke. Please help me. I have not resumed yet.
1. How long were you taking this drug?
2. When did you come off it (since you began taking it)?
3. How did you do this? I cannot take aspirin as it causes internal bleeding
I HEAR horror stories about Statins and believe there nothing more then rat poison. I’ll die before forcing myself on a statin.
Thank you for the stopping Plavix and taking baby aspirin daily comment.
I have been on Plavix for 18 years after a clogged artery. My excessive bruising makes me want to get off of it. I started talking it every other day a week ago and adding baby aspirin in the inbetween days. To my utter amazement my blood pressure dropped to 117/66 (usual bp had been 140/80). I set my pill boxes up for the next five weeks with alternate day Plavix/baby aspirins. My question is after five weeks do I further reduce the Plavix? Or only continue the baby aspirin? After reading your post, I am encouraged to go to just baby aspirin. Thank you
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
Try listening to Dr John Bergman. He’s a Corrective Chiropractor in California. He has lots of videos over many years on YouTube. He knows soooo much about the body and healing (not masking symptoms with chemicals). He can educate you on ‘side-effects’. He puts Allopathic Doctors in the shade. Try him.
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.
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!
But you had a heart attack ? .
I am a little bit late to reply. But you are so right. I am healthy, because of my extreme healthy lifestyle, so is my husband. But my husband has a stent placed because an old plaque that became fragile and ruptured (from his unhealthy lifestyle before he met me). They found another plaque and placed another stent. We were told no other plaque was found–not 50%, not 20%, not even 10%. Otherwise my husband is incredibly healthy, absolutely no problems. I fought off for the first month the anti-cholesterol, the blood pressure lowering medicine they gave him.
Now after 6 months I want him off the plavix and only take baby aspirin because of the side effects that are for him breathing problems and weakness.
I speak 4 languages and I am able to read the medical journals from different countries. There is no reason to be longer on plavix than 6 months. It will be a fight for sure. Please contact me privately if you want.
Can i ask you a few questions, i have stopped plavix on my own in one day…so far no side effects, its been 6 days. I still take a baby aspirin.
Brian Dazio Nov. 17 2018 how are you doing now and did you ever have side effects stopping clopadogrel blood thinner????
I AM 54, FROM INDIA. I HAD 2 STENTS, STOPPED PLAVIX BUT STILL TAKING ASPIRIN 75mg.Everybody IN THESE STORIES HAS A PROBLEM WITH CLOPIDOGREL BUT EVERYONE IS TAKING ASPIRIN LIKE ME. CLOPIDOGREL IS BAD BUT I HAVE CONSTANT ANXIETY EVER SINCE I STARTED ASPIRIN. NOBODY IS THINKING ASPIRIN IS TO BLAME. I PERSONALLY FEEL ASPIRIN IS DANGEROUS. IT SERIOUSLY AFFECTS THE MIND. PLEASE CHECK THIS OUT RXISK!!!!
I also had a stent placed, was 205lbs When had the stent put in, 6 months later I changed diet eating super critical and healthy now and weigh 140’s trying to get off plavix safely and am concerned. Can you please contact me back privately? I am not sure how to do that here?
I enjoyed reading about your firm response to the Dr re the extra medications.
I was exceptionally healthy – and I can’t believe I had a heart attack (July 2023) as I felt super great, despite my husband in hospital having a routine op; and my elderly dog failing. I have studied the Doctors that are more Naturopathic for years so I know about the evils of Big Pharma. I left hospital with a bag of medicines. I didn’t take them all. I know too much about statins. Read The Great Cholesterol Con by Dr Malcolm Kendrick! And The Great Cholesterol Myth by Jonny Bowden. They both have great YouTube videos on the topic. I took aspirin for a few days but recalled some studies on that and revisited them and stopped it. I only took a Beta-Blocker and Prasugrel (anti coagulant) but recently stopped the Beta-Blocker. For a person who is very happy and feeling good previous to all this, I felt the following;
My legs were different. Hard to explain. Now I feel a pressure behind my knees. I struggle to get off sofa more than before. My nose requires wiping more often. My feet got cold out walking – I’ve always been a warm person. Maybe my ears/nose/fingers were cold because of the drugs not the weather? Tingling in my fingers. Felt weary – thought it might be the Season? I started researching ‘side-effects’ aka EFFECTS! Of course I don’t know which drug is effecting me (or both). Things like hair loss, depression can happen – I’m not letting myself go down that avenue!! So assessing my situation. Yes! It is scary reading on box of Beta-Blocker: Do Not Stop Taking. I’ve back-tracked all I think I know and learnt over the last ten years re Big Pharma. My guru, Dr John Bergman on YouTube, has reassured me tonight that my suspicions and doubts are not unfounded. I don’t want to ‘ask my Dr’ as they are brainwashed re ‘the protocol’ and aren’t really interested – plus in the U.K. they don’t see you in person and I don’t feel up to ‘arguing with them’. On a positive note I recently heard Dr David Hamilton (a Scientist) say that owning a dog makes it 400 times less likely to have a 2nd heart attack. I own two! So I’m going to read his book on healing yourself. I’m repeating that thought over and over. He says you can heal yourself with visually imagining yourself ‘brushing clean your arteries’.
Scary and not fair to be put on Plavix for a stent that I did not need I too want to go off this poison which is causing severe side effects
Tried Brilinta too many side effects. What and how is it going for you did you go off?
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.??
Hi Kim, I was put on plavix december22,2017 due to a small hole in my heart. I had a tee test it showed pfo. My doctor put me on it also becsuse my mri showed 2 small tia’s, I can nog tskekis this drug I stopped tonight. After 11 days. I feel very anxious heart racing. My heart is beating fast.the doctors never believe anything when you tell them you can’t take something. Well I stopped it tonight on my own. I hope you feel better.
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?
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!
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.
Are you still not taking clopidrogel? I had a stroke 6 years ago and I have been taken clopidrogel. Recently I have been suffering from pains in my stomach. I decided not to take clopidrogel – that was 3 weeks back. I have been suffering from dizziness. Does it get better? I am taking aspirin instead.
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?
I just got off Clopidrogel too about a week back. Did you have any more withdrawal symptoms besides the panic attacks?
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.
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?
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
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.
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!
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…
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!
I’ve been on Clopidogrel since April 2016 & have just finished weaning my self off it. I had CABG x 3 in December 2016 following 3rd heart attack & was told I needed to take it for a year so decided myself how & when. I began by taking 3/4 for 3 days, 1/2 for 4 days & then 1/4 for 8 days however this has not been easy & now have some angina type pain particularly in the afternoon & evening but I’m hoping this will subside over the next few days & continue to take the other medications: baby aspirin, ramipril, bisoprolol, rosuvastatin, ezetimibe, omeprazole
I should mention that I’m a 62 yr old female
Good luck to all
Does anyone have any idea what is going on in the body at the time one ceases taking clopidogrel?
We are all concerned about these symptoms but what exactly is making this happen?
1. How does Clopidogrel change your body?
2. How do our bodies respond to having this change?
3. What is it in our bodies that Clopidogrel makes irreversible?
How do we get back to being ourselves?
I’ve been taking Plavix after having a Tia 5 month ago. Since then I have radically changed my diet, have lost 35 pounds and get lots of exercise. I made the decision to wean off Plavix because I don’t think I needed it to begin with. I have always bled freely as a small scratch would drip blood. My test from the Tia showed hardly no plaque for a male 67 years old. While running these test they saw some damage from head trauma when I was 5. I think the Plavix was SOP for stroke or Tia. I also have a Dr at the VA and when I went for a checkup 2 days after the Tia he immediately wanted me on a cholesterol drug even though my test showed a level slightly over the norm. The Doctors at the hospital where I went for the Tia saw no need for a cholesterol med. I think that most Drs are too quick to prescribe meds before giving your body time to correct a problem and in doing so subject the patient to risks that out weight the problem. I have been weaning off Plavix for over a week and will be off in 6 more pills. No matter what the outcome it’s my decision to make.
Put on plavix after a mild heart attack one year ago. I’ve noticed that even when I forget to take it, I begin to feel queasy, low energy, heart pounds, a little dizzy. First time, I had to go home around 11am to take the dose. Discomfort subsided after 30-45 minutes. Last week, I didn’t feel symptoms until late afternoon. Again subsided after I took the dose. I already stopped the Lipitor they said I would be on for the rest of my life back in November, and take Niacin(B-3), Red Yeast Rice, and DHA on the advice of my alternative doctor. My cholesterol is mid range, so fine. I am concerned about the plavix, wondering how long I will be feeling funky. After reading everything here, I’m going to start tapering off.
I had a heart attack because of high cholesterol and a blockage in two veins to heart in July 2017 two stents fitted and put on clopidrogal and baby aspirin ramapril and statin Lipitor and beta blocker bisoporl I stopped the bisoporll after three months because it made me feel like a zombie the cardiologist wants me to go back on bisoporll as my heart races with any exercise but I said no and he said it’s my choice after six months I’ve been told to stop the clopidrogal which is making me nervous as Ive heard all the death stories around stopping it earlier than one year but I have just stopped it two days ago at the moment I feel weak as a kitten and dizzy I’m trying to take it easy for a few days and see how it goes but I’m quite nervous. I will update in a week or two if I’m still alive to let you know how I’m doing.
March 19. 2018 2:50 pm
Congratulations on your decision to stop taking clopidogrel. I too am in the same situation. I had a stent placed on June 12, 2017. And was placed on this drug along with 1 baby aspirin. When, I first got on it, it gave me a fit. I was having more stinging chest pain after taking the medicine. Finally, my body got used to the drug. I’ve been on it now for 8 months. I too want to get off this drug for I bruise very easily and bleed a lot with just a little scratch. I am 78 years old been a runner since 1979 and have never been hooked on any type of drugs until this clopidogrel. I only got on this because my Doctor said I would die if I didn’t take the drug and to have an office visit every 60 days. I haven’t been back to him in 7 months. It’s mighty funny in England they recommend being on Plavix / Clopidogrel for only 6 month. I’ve always had high cholesterol which is hereditary. Consume 2 cocktails on average every evening. Years ago, I was put on Crestor and it made my hands cramp up. Got off that within 2 weeks. I’m going to follow your example and start today. I think I will go the dribbling route by taking ¾ pill for 3 days ½ pill for 3 days ¼ pill for 3 days and then go for 3 times every other day taking a ¼ pill. That’s it. It will all be behind me. I have since found out that my doctor has stock in several Pharmaceuticals companies that produce Clo… rel. I wonder how many other doctors hold shares!
Similar experience with these differences.
Under doctor death threat I took plavix for 1 year in 2017. Stopped it midway for 5 days for arthroplasty rotator cuff operation but was forced to resume plavix, by doctor who also prevented operation, with a loading dose of 300 mg then back to 75mg daily. This caused sever very painful hands cramping for 4 hours. Since then random muscle cramping continues anywhere there are muscles, also ‘sandpaper’ hands. Doctor wont listen and doesn’t “Want to argue about it”.
Had a year of come and go red boils on skin anywhere and sever boils on each side of tongue but no actual bleeding.
Anyhow after year was up had operation with arthroplasty and there was no bleeding.
With permission by doctor, stopping itself after 1 year produced no noticeable effects.
Hi, I had a stoke 9 weeks ago, been on Clopidogrel since then. Thought it was the effects of the stroke but looks like it is more than likely the Clopidogrel. Not been to work since with anxiety, headaches, sore throat etc… thought I was going crazy. Got through to my consultant yesterday and he said stop taking it and take an aspirin instead. Today is day one after stopping it, hopefully the effects will not be too bad but can’t be as bad as the effects.
Glad I found the website.
I have been on playing for 13 years. A brain scan showed I had a stroke but no side effects. However my Dr. Put me on Plavix as a precaution. I recently had shoulder surgery and both my family Dr. And anesthesiologist both said they saw no reason for me to be on it so I didn’t resume it after surgery and now I am having tingling and a little numbness down my right leg ( same side as shoulder surgery) I don’t know if this is a side effect from getting off the Plavix. Would appreciate any feedback.
Im the same a brain scan 3 yrs ago showed i had a possible stroke 7 yrs ago. So put me on Plavix but hate medication and want to come off it.
Are you still off it?
How are you feeling any side effects?
I had a mild heart attack in December 2017. I was placed on plavix, cholesterol pill and an aspirin. The artery affected was too small for a stent. So, I did not receive a stent. My body feels pain everyday, I have lost 30 pounds since December, I don’t eat fried food, fast food, sweets, nor drink sodas. My cholesterol and blood pressure are great. I want to stop the plavix. I have read and heard so many horrible things about this drug. How do you stop this drug without the ridiculousside affects?
I had a lone afib even back in 2011, and have been on metaprolol and a daily aspirin ever since. But in 2016 I was in the hospital for food poisoning, and when I was being discharged the nurse taking my IV out of my arm slipped and stabbed the IV needle straight back into my arm, which caused a wound in the vein, which caused a DVT in my left arm. Hematologist put me on Clopidogrel and baby aspirin and found that I have a blood condition that prevents my body from being able to dispose of blood clots on its own, so he told me I would more than likely be on this medicine for life. I’ve now been on clopidogrel for 15 months and have been wanting to ween myself off of it, having read so many horror stories about it. I don’t want to be on this medication for life. I never had any clotting issues prior to being wounded by that nurse, and I am fine with moving back to just a daily aspirin. However, now I’m frightened at the prospect of stopping the clopidogrel, due to reading all of your weening horror stories! Will be making an appointment with my hematologist to discuss stopping the meds. Will come back and update here.
Reaching out for support and to give support
Had Unecassary stent last October 2018 on Plavix and Brilinta with severe symptoms can’t go off told I will die
Just can’t believe this it’s happening I was healthy working out and doing so good no high cholesterol everything normal. Please give me support quality of life taken away from severe side effects. Just want to be me again.
Got second opinion from best heart hospital stated I didn’t have severe blockage not fair
Is there a support group by phone too
Is this website still active
Wish I had someone to talk to
Cardiologist put in unecassay stent
Since films looked at by another top heart hospital in country for second opinion and I found out I didn’t have severe LAD blockage
Now stuck on Plavix making me severely sick. Is there a support group for us by phone maybe
This is a nightmare I just want to be me again since I was healthy eating exercising living a good life.
Please someone let’s reach out need help deslibg with this drug I can’t go off or told I will die. Scary need support
I had a heart attack in April, 2019. I have really hated the drugs they put me on. Found out in July I had never had high cholesterol, so I got off of Lipitor which was hell. I had no with withdrawal. Felt somewhat better. I started gaining weight quickly with swelling from my waist to my feet. I gained 15 lbs, on 800 calories a day and a 5 mile walk a day. lost half my hair, this is from Metoprolol. The Dr. told me to get off of it. I weaned myself off of it. I have been off it over a week.Feel a little better. Now I need to get off Plavix. When I bend over to wash my face my mouth feels with blood. I have read about rebound effect, I go to the cardiologist next week, however I no longer trust them. When I stopped taking Lipitor they wanted to put me on another cholesterol pill even though I don’t have high cholesterol. I know I will need to take Kyotic Garlic, cayenne pepper, hawthorn and other natural stuff.
A bit of history before my story with Plavix) I live in the Campfire burn area (my adjoining blocks survived the fire). I had to evacuate with my dogs to my daughter’s house, driving through the front edges of the fire.
I have always been in excellent health and eat well, rarely eat junk food and drink water all day. An occasional glass of wine (1 or 2 a month) and morning coffee are my weaknesses.
I had 2 younger brothers living at my home for the past 5 years. The youngest one (Dave) died of cancer the summer before the fire, the other brother (alcoholic) was his caregiver. After Dave died, the other brother was more than I could handle and I told him he needed to leave. The day he moved was an ugly affair. He sabotaged many things at my home and stole several items of mine. All of this created a lot of stress for me, but it had to be done.
Not very long afterward, I started having near fainting spells. These happened “out of the blue” at work, while driving, and even during the night when I would wake up gasping for air and feeling very dizzy. Also, my short-term memory is non-existent! I can’t remember things no matter how hard I try. I have to write everything in my phone calendar or it’s forgotten within a minute or two after hearing it.
I went to my doctor and he immediately placed me on 1 Plavix and 1 baby aspirin per day while he scheduled me for an MRI and testing at Stanford and UC Davis.
Everything was clear, no medical reason other than the stress I had been under from my brother and the fire. (Many prayers of “thank you Lord” going up) My doctor said I could stop taking the Plavix, no need to ween myself off, just stop. So I stopped. Within a couple days my symptoms returned. I would have sudden and extreme dizzy spells, would almost black out, couldn’t catch my breath, and couldn’t understand anything anyone would be saying to me. Their words didn’t make sense. My legs got very weak and I had to sit down immediately, even if it was on the floor or I would fall down. My doctor didn’t know why.
I found this article and another one about “weening off of Plavix.” But unfortunately, I cant remember the website about weening off the Plavix (part of the Plavix side effects). But the website said to reduce the dose by 1/4 of 1 tablet per day for 4 weeks, then reduce again by another 1/4 tablet for another 4 weeks, then another 1/4 tablet for another 4 weeks, and again for the last 4 weeks. Taking a total of 4 months to get off this horrible medicine!
Each time I reduced the dose I would have a day or two of returning dizzy spells that also woke me during the night. The only difference is I feel them coming on and can prepare myself by immediately sitting down, breathing deeply and slowly, and concentrating very hard to stay conscious. In the beginning of the withdrawal, the “spells” would last several minutes and all I could do is continue breathing deeply, slowly and concentrating on remaining awake.
I’m on my last week of reduction, taking only 1/4 tablet/day! I’m feeling almost normal again except my memory is still screwed up, so I have to make notes about everything! But thanks to modern cellphones I have my appointment calendar, shopping list, phone contacts, etc. with me always. I’m exercising daily and take long walks (1-4 miles/day) with my dog.
I’ve also changed doctors to a doctor who practices healthy medicine, not just prescribing drugs as the first option. She has me taking B-12, Serrapeptase, and NattoMax daily. I feel much better! I’m almost my old self again. No more near blackouts or dizzy spells.
I hope this helps anyone else with this horrible drug. Good luck!
Additional info for withdrawing from Plavix…
The article also mentioned to drink LOTS of water! It helps flush the Plavix from the system and helps the recovery. I drink between 6-8 bottles of water daily. It really helps by reducing the withdrawal effects.
I had a subclavian artery clot out of the blue last October. No one can tell me how or why this happened. After two weeks in the ICU, I was given aspirin, Plavix, and Eliquis and sent home. I was so dizzy I couldn’t walk across the room without feeling like I was going to pass out. Eight months later I was finally told I could stop the aspirin because I was still feeling awful and despite having the artery completely open for months I still felt like I was slowly dying from the weakness, fatigue, and especially the dizziness. Last month I had enough and started taking half the dose of my Eliquis. It made a difference. I am far from normal but was able to start driving again and feeling so much more energy. Last week I attempted to cut the Plavix in half and on the evening of day two I started again feeling so ill, so dizzy I thought I’d pass out just as I felt when this had all started. The pain returned to my arm like it felt when I had the clotting issue and I couldn’t move off the couch and even lying down I was dizzy. I started the full dose of Plavix again and have felt like I’m back to where I was a week ago. I’ve had such muscle aches and insomnia for the entire 9 months and recently I’ve been getting nerve pains on the top of my feet and my scalp, and upon first rising in the mornings, I get black spots in my vision for the first minute or so when I stand up out of bed. The doctors keep telling me it’s not the thinners but it’s totally the thinners. I’m so happy I found this group! How on earth does anyone get off this medication?
Where does one report these things? Told no more migraines post heart repair surgery, blinding migraines post Clopidogrel. I asked if I could stop slowly and doctor said no, just stop. Seems the FDA should take this information.
If there is a statin, I’ve been on it. Atorvistatin, Crestor, 20 others. All of them caused serious side effects from leg and ankle swelling, to trouble breathing and inability to walk. I truly believe all Statins are rat poison. I am also taking Plavix for a single stent I had put in just over a year. If i cut myself or nik myself shaving, I bleed like a pig. I’m looking to stop Plavix soon by lowering the dose by 2 week intervals. I don’t expect to live forever. I am 58 years old. I’ll let God decide my fate now and not the pharmaceutical companies and there rat poisons. God Bless the people. Health and long life to all.
March 5 2005 I had 3 stents put in, then 5 years later after failing a stress test, had another Angioplasty done, out come, smallest artery collapsed, 2 other pumping strong. Been on Plavix since 2005, now Clopidogrel Bisulfate 75mg due to insurance coverage. I am 65 and prepping for cataract eye surgery now, 2 days after stopping the Clopidogrel my back and stomach itching got annoyingly worse; bedtime nervous leg syndrome (aniexty) insomnia increased, the tinnitus ear ringings are worse, and my stomach has hurt for 2 days; are my back, shoulder and neck muscle aches with weakness associated with this drug also!. My varicose veins have gotten worse as well as my arthritis. I have to be off Clopidogrel and my PM Advil for a week then prep (off again) while prepping for the left eye cataract surgery, about 3 weeks. So glad I found this website and getting educated from all these people leaving their same likeness symptoms. This drug Clopidogrel IS nasty, and longer I am still on it I am getting suspicious the my symptoms are because of the side affects/withdrawal from this drug (as someone wrote ‘rat poison’ amen). Will be asking my heart doctor if I can stay off it, depending how my body reactions pan out; I want to get back out in my garden! Bless you all meanwhile.
I have been a relatively healthy 126 lb 72 year-old female. Heart disease runs rampant in my family. My higher cholesterol level are genetic. Had a heart attack at the “widowmaker’s curve” w/ 90% blockage a year ago w/a single stent but otherwise clear arteries. Did my 3 months of cardio rehab 3x a week very successfully. Was put on clopidigrel, aspirin, atoravastatin, metoprolol, and losartan, continuing w/my levoxyl for removed thyroid and 20 mg duloxetine (cymbalta) that I had reduced from 60 mg I had been taking over the past 3 years for a bit of anxiety and sleeping challenges. I must be a rare one as I have had no difficulties while on the meds except for horrendous bruising.
Had my 1 year cardiac appointment 5 days ago when doc said could stop the plavix, which I was determined to do anyway and after being off cold turkey for 5 days, I have had no issues. On my own I have decided to cut my statin in half to 20 mg since my labs were in the optimum range for HDL, LDL, and triglycerides and do another lab in 2 months to check my cholesterol again. I will always stick w/my baby aspirin as my mom had her first heart attack in her 30’s with many health issues but lived a quality life until age 89. I will update in another month.
My last cardiologist appt.- 2 weeks ago I was told I was doing so well so he took me off my pavix. I bad been on it 14yrs. Very soon into the withdrawal I began having horrible symptoms. I was just researching the plavix when I came across this blog.
Wow! What a game changer!
Are you taking clopidrogel – what sort of horrendous side effects did you suffer from? I stopped clopidrogel 3 weeks ago but the dizzy spells were horrendous! I want to come off this drug!
I was taken off Clopidogrel a month ago, after taking it for a period of thirteen years.
My only withdrawal symptoms, to date, are insomnia and increased migraine attacks.
My doctor recommended that I stop abruptly, but being unsure about this advice, I withdrew gradually over a six week period.
It is early days (just thirty days since my last quarter of a tablet), but so far, the outcome looks positive.
Don’t be afraid to come off the treatment, but reduce it gradually, is my suggestion.You can always recommence the med. if you experience ant distress.
Remember, doctors know how a patient SHOULD react to withdrawal of a drug, but they can’t know what really is happening, unless you tell them.
I have been on Clopidogrel .75 for 6mos after endovascular coiling and stent in brain for un ruptured aneurysm. I got clearance from surgeon that all was healed post procedure Aug 29th and he told me to stop the med that day but to stay on baby aspirin for 2 years.
One week later (after the med had left my system) I started having new
Aura migraines and left hand and arm numbness almost everyday
for 6 days. My neurologist has to put me on monthly migraine shots and another oral migraine med for a month. He said if could be withdrawls from Clopidogrel causing side effects. I was not told to taper down off the drug but i would recommend. Still having a few Aura headaches but numbness in fingers and arm are better now on day 18. I am hoping after a month I will feel back to normal and be able to get off one of my migraine medications. it has been scary!
Suzanne I to have had 2 aneurysms coiled & have been on both Aspirin & Plavix. I was told after my cerebral angiogram to recheck the repaired aneurysms that I should stop the plavix. I have tried stopping this drug x 2 & every instance I experience halos in my right eye & blurred vision in both eyes. No pain or numbness. Left message with my neurosurgeon what to do. I am going to taper this drug until I hear otherwise.
Iv been on for 2 weeks for tai and had lots of side effecs should of been in spain to day but was to ill to go been hopiral twice dr every day i want to come of
I experienced a heart attack in October of 2013 – I had two stents placed, which I assume are the drug-eluting type, and was put on Plavix and low-dose aspirin. Three weeks ago I was told by a nurse practitioner to discontinue Plavix after taking it daily for just short of 6 years.
I cannot report any severe side effects, but I have had an increase in episodes of cold sweats, and seem to have less energy and trouble staying awake. I would also say my mood has been trending more toward depression than was the case. How much these symptoms are attributable to the aging process and how much attributable to the discontinuation of Plavix I cannot say.
I had a heart attack may 26 2019.
Two stents put in. 100 % blockage of right coronary, and 70% of my left circum whatever? Had to be careflighted because I live in BFE, AKA the sticks. No hospital here. Had No ins…. $52,000 out of pocket. Will be paying that for that the rest of my life.
Anyway, my doctor from India with no bed side manner, ego maniac, and she wouldnt discuss details. (only wanted to talk on my $200 follow up visit) Put me on 75 mg of plavix, Lisinopril,coreg and lipitor and a baby aspirin. My blood test showed low Hdl and ldl. But I had partied a bit hard that weak soooo? Lol anyway. Stopped the coreg first, brain fog and achy joints. Stopped the lipitor in favor of a better diet. Stopped the lisinopril gradually, saw no real difference in blood pressure and felt better. However, I had serious wrist and elbow and forearm pain that radiated through my back and chest. Shortness of breath somedays,others not! Literally thought I was having a heart attack daily and it was getting worse. Luckily being a massage therapist I started doing stretches and pinpointing muscle spasms and it started to work. Especially. Leaning back stretching my spine on the arm of my recliner. Huge difference!
Blood pressure and Blood oxygen levels checked numerous times a day and were always perfect. So I ruled out heart attacks.
By the way never been back to any doctor. I dont trust them. Worked with them. And Pharma sales people. Ill pass. They were crooks and morons. The stories I could tell ya.
So after reading on plavix, hard to find forums like this made me decide 9 months on plavix was good enough. 12 was not in my future. I just stopped cold turkey 8 days ago. Have insomnia, gas pain, nausea, but its getting slowly better.
My back/spinal pain and hand pain and shoulder have improved significantly. I stayed on aspirin, but I take 5 baby 82 mg a day. Some for pain obviously and some to thin my blood. Not taking any chances on clotting and people used to take several a day so not gonna worry about that. But goodbye Plavix…. You wont be missed!
My suggestion is for everybody to not be scared and just get off asap. Im gonna start taking all the supplements I can to help me get healthy and stay healthy. Im gonna eat my vegetables again, you know the healthy vegetable your not supposed to eat on Plavix!!! Not supposed to eat vegetable???? First red flag!!! I did anyway, screw it. Gotta have my veg!
So folks, listen to your body, take care of it. Do your best to avoid these doctors with stocks and interest in the drugs they prescribe.
(Do NOT take ibuprofen!!!!!!!
Its bad heart news! Research!!!! )
So lets see what happens here. If I die. Well hopefully its a quick death.
But I would rather eat well, be outta pain, than to be a slave and profiteer to drug companies and doctors!
Good luck folks!
Had 4 stents placed in 3 arteries 1 year ago. Put on Plavix, cardio aspirin and statins for cholesterol. Had a lot of trouble with medication. Heart racing, anxiety, headaches, lost 12kg. Had so much time off work. Never had any of these symptoms before.
Cardiologist wanted me to see a psychologist because he said it was all in my head. He said there are know side affects of these medications.
Anyhow, after 1 year, he said I could come off Plavix now. He still insisted I see a psychologist because I was talking about different symptoms. After 3 days I started getting mild chest discomfort but pretty bad headaches. Worse after any activity. After reading comments I think I will start taking 1/2 a tablet again and slowly stop aftera few weeks. See what happens.
I also had a second opinion ( cardiologist) in regards to symptoms during the last year. They also denied any issues with medication.
As long as you pass their tests like ECG or stress test they think you are fine. Very frustrating.
No Answers here just another story. I had quad CABG 3 years ago age 52. Been on clopidogrel since then. Not taking any other drugs. Stopped the clopidogrel in Jan 2021 after I had an episode of acute pancreatitis. Doc said I should take it for ever, which is at odds with others that say only for 12 months. I was hospitalized with the pancreatitis and docs could not give a reason for the attack. (normally caused by gaul stones) Pancreatitis is in the list of side effects for clopidogel however. Since stopping I have been getting persistent numbness and in my hands and aches in shoulders and arms when at rest. Not debilitating so I just keep exercising.
Lastly, there was a big study some years ago to compare the effects of clopidogrel with garlic. The conclusion was that garlic is just as effective as clopidogrel for making platelets less sticky if consuming enough. I take 10g capsules per day. Google it for the full story. Docs are just drug dealers for big pharma.
I think I qualify for Guinness Book of World Records for being on Plavix for the longest time (since September 1998).
I started taking Plavix with aspirin at age 35 when I discovered that a platelet clumping problem was responsible for 20+ years of disabling vertigo and brain fog. I had several immune system markers for antiphospholipid syndrome/lupus but not enough for a formal diagnosis of either. The drug combination gave me my life back by completely eliminating the vertigo and brain fog.
Every time I have attempted to go off Plavix, I experience what feel like withdrawal symptoms of anxiety, mood changes, and sometimes a weird head feeling during transition from wakefulness to sleep. The first time I got the weird head feeling, I thought I was having a stroke. The original vertigo issue does not return until I have been off the medication for at least 10 days.
The active metabolites of Plavix do get into the brain and are known to affect functioning of microglia (immune cells in the brain), so it makes sense that stopping Plavix abruptly could underlie the withdrawal effects I have been experiencing. Much more research is needed to fully understand what is going on.
In the meantime, I am experimenting with adding natural antiplatelet substances (garlic, fish oil, turmeric, green tea, etc.) to aspirin, along with a healthy diet void of all the bad stuff (sugar, processed foods, etc.) to see if I can eliminate the need for Plavix.
i will make this short….. been on plavix/clopidogrel since november 2006 ..have had 5 heart attacks since ..
every time i stopped plavix/clopidogrel within 30 days i had another heart attack ..went from 0 blockage to 100% in 30 days.. i call BS on that.
even tried to wean myself off over a 2 year period..but after stopping had another heart attack with in 30 days ..
so i quit all doctors care ….only have refills through pharmacy for plavix/clopidogrel
learned the hard way that im stuck on this demon drug for the rest of my life.
im my own doctor now its been almost 8 years no big issues ..
will never trust a doctor ever again. !!!!!
I have CHF in 2016 my heart was at 10 % now at 60 % .I was just talking off Plavix last week some muscle stuff still on a 81Mg of aspirin. I have found a huge natural remedy. I take super beets and super greens everyday for the last 3 years. Coq10,and B6 as well. I only had one stint scary stuff get moving stop fast food cut salt .I have been featured on the front page of the local paper twice it’s not easy God bless dig in and fight
Found a link to Plavik by Dr Sam Robbins
Really enlightening and great alternative suggestions
Hope this is allowed