"I took Plavix from February 2005 to May 2006 although my primary cardiologist said I would be on it 'indefinitely'. This was a big problem because I was waiting for a hip replacement but my doctor was now reluctant to operate due to the blood-thinning properties of Plavix," says Duggan.
I finally found an orthopedic surgeon and had a total hip replacement. Several months later I was back at my doctor's office, this time my right foot was swollen and discolored. He told me it was due to an arterial veinous shunt, which allowed blood to bypass going down to the foot. Whether or not that was a direct result of surgery or Plavix, I can't say for sure, but blood thinners can do this - cause bruising which led to the shunt. This delayed physical therapy for my hip replacement for several months. As a consequence of delaying rehab after my hip replacement, I had a very slow and unsuccessful recovery and now, more than a year later, I can't walk very well at all and I am only 58 years old.
With all the pain from my hip and foot (due to poor circulation) a small anomaly went unnoticed - a bump developed on my calf. By May 2006 it had increased to about the size of a silver dollar, and dark red. I went back to the doctor and he diagnosed it as a blood clot-it typically happens when blood isn't circulating properly through smaller veins in that area. In addition, coincidentally or otherwise, around the same time I got another one on my left calf which right now is the size of a dime.
I did some research on Plavix and stopped taking it (and of course my cardiologist said it would be okay to stop). Plavix is a powerful drug and you shouldn't take it longer than necessary - I found out that it can lead to serious injury and even death, especially dangerous in patients with a history of peptic ulcers. But I'm worried about these blood clots and my heart."
Life-threatening Side Effects
Plavix is the second best-selling drug in the world, commonly used as an alternative to aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes. But research now suggests that Plavix taken alone or in combination with aspirin may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, stroke, heart attack, death, and other life-threatening conditions.
The New England Journal of Medicine reported that patients using Plavix suffered 12 times as many ulcers as those who took aspirin with a heartburn pill, and that the continual use of Plavix can actually increase the risk of recurrence in patients with previous gastrointestinal bleeding and could be fatal. (Plavix prevents the formation of platelets in the blood, thereby increasing the risk of
hemorrhage in the gastrointestinal tract.)
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) - TTP is a rare blood disorder that can be fatal once it reaches the brain or kidney. Research indicates that Plavix, and similar drugs, can trigger the formation of platelet and protein blood clots, causing serious Plavix side effects.
Heart attack, stroke or death - A recent study found that Plavix, when taken with aspirin, actually doubles the risk of death, heart attack, or stroke in patients who have no previous history of heart disease, but have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Furthermore, this study indicates that Plavix only moderately helped patients with heart disease, decreasing their risk by only one percent.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious Plavix side effects, you may want to seek the help of a qualified Plavix lawyer.