Plavix Side Effects Claims Lawyers
Plavix, a blood thinning medication, was originally approved by the FDA in 1997 for certain types of heart disease patients—specifically, those suffering from Acute Coronary Syndrome, or ACS.
Marketed as a safer alternative to aspirin, Plavix (generic name clopidogrel) has generated over six billion dollars in sales for manufacturers Bristol-Myer Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis.
Plavix, at a cost of approximately three to four dollars a pill, is a significantly greater expense than aspirin, at about 10 cents per pill. Many patients and doctors no doubt believed this expense was justified by the decrease in side effects and the efficacy of the drug.
Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that neither is the case. Plavix studies have shown that the drug increases potential for bleeding ulcers, and, in some patients, can actually increase their risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, strokes, and even death.
Increased Risk of Gastrointestinal Bleeding
Despite its claims, unfortunately, studies have shown that Plavix causes an increase, rather than a decrease, in gastrointestinal bleeding for patients.
According to a 2005 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, however, Plavix was far more likely to be associated with gastrointestinal bleeding than aspirin. The study, conducted on 320 patients with healed ulcers, showed that of the 160 patients taking aspirin and the heartburn medication Nexium, only one, or .7 percent, suffered from bleeding ulcers; while 13, or 8.6 percent of patients prescribed Plavix suffered renewed bleeding.
Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Events
Compounding the risks of gastrointestinal problems are the results of a 2006 study, also published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showing that Plavix does not prevent heart attacks and strokes in patients who have never suffered a heart attack, and may, in fact, increase the risk of cardiovascular events in some patients.
The study, conducted by the American College of Cardiology, studied 15,600 patients taking a combination of aspirin and Plavix. Over a period of 28 months, patients who had never suffered a heart attack showed no improvement on the Plavix regimen, and patients who had suffered heart attacks in the past showed only minimal improvement when taking the medication.
Additionally, patients with multiple risk factors, such as smokers and patients with diabetes showed increases in cardiovascular events, indicating that Plavix may actually do more harm than good in many cases.
If You or a Loved One Was Injured
Drug companies Bristol-Myer Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis made over six billion dollars marketing Plavix as a safe and effective preventative treatment for at risk patients. Unfortunately, it was neither safe nor was it effective, and many patients suffered from serious illnesses including bleeding ulcers, strokes, and heart attacks as a possible result of these drug companies' greed and negligence.
If you or someone you love suffered from serious medical issues that you believe may have been associated with Plavix, you owe it to yourself and your family to contact an experienced drug liability attorney today.