Plavix® Associated with More Deaths in Study Analyzing Patients with Coronary Artery Disease


Plavix Associated with More Deaths in Study Analyzing Patients with Coronary Artery DiseaseOverview: A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that Plavix® is related to a higher mortality rate compared to Brilinta (ticagrelor) in patients who have recently undergone coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. The drug was also linked to more bleeding-related deaths, a complication that is the subject of many personal injury lawsuits.

  • Plavix® is associated with more deaths compared to Brilinta in a study involving 1,200 patients who have had CABG surgery
  • Plavix® was also linked to more cases of bleeding and infection among patient deaths
  • Last month, another study showed that Plavix® and Aspriin had a higher risk of bleeding compared to Aspirin alone in patients with lacunar stroke

Product: Plavix® (clopidogrel)  

Manufacturer: Sanofi-Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Side Effects & Complications 

  •       Cerebral hemorrhage
  •       Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP)
  •       Gastrointestinal bleeding
  •       Ulcers
  •       Internal bleeding
  •       Bone marrow damage
  •       Heart attack
  •       Stroke
  •       Death


The study, which was published online Wednesday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, involved 1,261 patients who underwent CABG surgery. Within one week, the participants were randomly prescribed Plavix or Brilinta. Researchers found that there were more deaths in the Plavix group, with a higher mortality rate several categories, including:

  • Myocardial infarction (14 vs. 10)
  • Heart failure (9 vs. 6)
  • Arrhythmia or sudden death (9 vs. 3)
  • Bleeding, hemorrhagic stroke (7 vs. 2)
  • Infection (8 vs. 2)

Researchers said that when it came to factors causing or contributing to patient death, bleeding and infection were generally more common among those taking Plavix.


Plavix was approved in 1997 to reduce the risk of blood clot, stroke and heart attack in patients who were at risk for heart disease. The drug’s bleeding risks however, the subject of a number of personal injury lawsuits alleging that the blood thinner caused cerebral hemorrhaging, gastrointestinal hemorrhaging and other serious bleeding events. Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm, filed one such case in July on behalf of a man who suffered from an epidural hematoma, allegedly due to Plavix. The lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York.

Last month, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing that therapeutic combination of Aspirin with Plavix had an increased the risk of bleeding compared to Aspirin alone.