Plavix (generic: clopidogrel) is a prescription anti-platelet medication that assists in the prevention of unnecessary blood clots after a recent heart attack or stroke. The drug prevents blood platelets from coagulating in arteries and may significantly reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. However, the mechanism responsible for preventing blood clots, may also cause some patients to experience catastrophic complications. Plavix side effects may put users at an increased risk of suffering from heart attacks, strokes, internal bleeding, ulcers and a potentially life-threatening blood condition, known as Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP).
If you or a loved one has been injured by Plavix, you should contact our lawyersimmediately for a free confidential case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.
Plavix Lawsuit Overview
Sanofi Aventis, a global leader in the pharmaceutical industry, introduced Plavix into interstate commerce on November 17, 1997. Following regulatory actions taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Plavix received the Agency’s approval for the prevention of atherosclerotic events following recent myocardial infarction, stroke or established peripheral arterial disease. Accordingly, Sanofi Aventis has witnessed their anti-platelet medication be prescribed to over 115 million patients.
According to a distinct mechanism of action, Plavix is considered an anti-platelet drug of the ADP antagonist (thienopyridines) category. As an anti-platelet medication, Plavix has the inherent ability to prevent the aggregation of platelets that could potentially inhibit the flow of blood through an artery. In doing so, Plavix irreversibly inhibits a specific protein found on the surface of blood platelets that is responsible for the regulation of blood clots. By preventing specific actions taken by this protein, Plavix may halt the aggregation of platelets and reduce the risk of unnecessary blood clots. Subsequently, Plavix may significantly lower the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Unfortunately, studies suggest that Plavix does not demonstrate a favorable risk/benefit profile. Patients who receive Plavix treatment may significantly increase their risk of developing severe, life-threatening complications associated with adverse cardiac events. Complications associated with Plavix treatment include heart attacks, strokes, internal bleeding, ulcers and a potentially life-threatening blood condition, known as Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP). Due to the severity of these complications, patients may contact a lawyer at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP for a free case evaluation of their potential Plavix lawsuit.
Plavix Side Effects
Plavix side effects have been associated with varying degrees of severity. However, many side effects may significantly affect a person’s quality of life in a profound way. Plavix side effects include: abdominal pain, coughing, gout, chest pain, irregular heart beat, pneumonia, chronic headaches, sinus inflammation, and bone marrow damage.
Though significant in their own right, the previously mentioned side effects may be indicators for more severe, life-threatening complications. Plavix treatment may coincide with the following complications:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Cerebral hemorrhage
- Internal bleeding
- Bone marrow damage
- Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP)
- Heart attack
Plavix & Asprin May Cause Severe Bleeding
According to a stroke-prevention study preformed by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), patients receiving simultaneous Asprin and Plavix treatment may significantly increase their risk of bleeding to death. The study was an attempt for healthcare officials to determine the safety and effectiveness of Plavix and Asprin joint therapy. The 2003 study tested whether Plavix, in association with Asprin, could prevent recurring strokes in people who had recently suffered strokes in small vessels of the brain.
Out of the 3,000 participants, 6.5% of patients treated with the Plavix-Aspirin combination experienced an adverse bleeding event. Subsequently, 3.3% of those who took Asprin alone developed similar bleeding symptoms. Studies also indicated that simultaneous treatment, with Asprin and Plavix, was responsible for a death rate of 5.8%. Walter Koroshetz, the deputy director of NINDS acknowledged that “the combination does not offer any protection, but does put you at increased risk for bleeding.”
A recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has found, “although doctors believe the combination of Plavix and aspirin should reduce the risk of a second heart attack, the combination not only does not help, but it nearly doubles the risk of death, heart attack or stroke in people with no history of heart disease. It was also found to be associated with increased risk for moderate and severe bleeding.”
According to a recent FDA News Release, a boxed warning was added to Plavix that revealed that the medication displayed a propensity to be less effective in people who cannot metabolize the drug to convert it to its active form. The following news release identifies a number of dangers associated with Plavix treatment:
Plavix reduces the risk of heart attack, unstable angina, stroke, and cardiovascular death in patients with cardiovascular disease by making platelets less likely to form blood clots. Plavix does not have its anti-platelet effects until it is metabolized into its active form by the liver enzyme, CYP2C19.
People who have reduced functioning of their CYP2C19 liver enzyme cannot effectively convert Plavix to its active form. As a result, Plavix may be less effective in altering platelet activity in those people. These “poor metabolizers” may not receive the full benefit of Plavix treatment and may remain at risk for heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death.
Unbeknownst to them, patients with this suppressed enzyme may not experience the benefits associated with taking Plavix. Therefore, they are at an increased risk of developing catastrophic side effects such as heart attacks, strokes, internal bleeding, ulcers and TTP.
Although Plavix has been touted as a superior alternative to Asprin in the field of heart attack prevention, studies suggest that the prescription medication may not display any significant advantage. Accordingly, patients who take Plavix may significantly increase their risk of developing severe, life-threatening cardiovascular problems such as stroke and heart attack. The ineffectiveness demonstrated by Plavix in clinical trials may be responsible for patients not receiving proper treatment. Subsequently, patients may take Plavix without knowing that it is doing nothing to help their cardiovascular condition. Therefore problems persist until a blood clot creates an imminent problem. As a result, patients are subjected to the same complications that Plavix is intended to prevent. Patients who do not receive the proper treatment for the coagulation of blood platelets may significantly increase their risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Each of which and prove to be fatal.
Do I Have a Plavix Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Plavix lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has been injured by Plavix, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.