Plavix is a blood thinner used to prevent ischemic events such as blood clot, stroke and heart attack in patients with a history of these conditions or are at high risk of developing them. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug, which is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb, in 1997. On May 17th, the patent on Plavix expired, making way for generic versions of the drug. While the manufacturer and brand names may differ, the risks and side effects associated with generic Plavix are the same. Known generically as clopidgrel, Plavix has been associated with complications such as:
- Cerebral hemorrhage
- Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP)
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Internal bleeding
- Bone marrow damage
- Heart attack
While some people benefit from the drug, studies show that Aspirin, which is over-the-counter and considerably cheaper, could be just as effective for some patients despite the fact that Plavix makers have touted it as a superior alternative, according to lawsuits filed by Parker Waichman. Apparently, manufacturers asserted that it was more effective than aspirin at preventing ischemic events, and that it is safe in combination, or “dual therapy” with Aspirin. But research has contradicted these notions. In 2006, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that dual therapy with Aspirin and Plavix is not more effective at lowering the rate of blood clot, stroke and heart attack compared to Aspirin alone.