Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"When should I stop Plavix?"
Had heart attack 2 yrs. ago. Dr. says time to stop Plavix, that worries me. I also have PAD.
This is a complex question, and there are many ongoing studies to determine the appropriate duration of plavix therapy after a heart attack. Due to the complexity, I encourage you to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist. Many factors, including your entire medical history, other medications, and details of your heart attack, including whether you received a stent, what kind of stent, the number of stents, length of stent, and location of stent, affect this decision. Therefore, I cannot provide an accurate answer without knowing these details. Plavix is a medication used to prevent platelets from forming a blood clot. This is important since blood clots are an essential component in heart attacks. Patients who receive stents for heart attacks are at increased risk for developing an acute blood clot at the site of the stent, and they are required to take both aspirin and plavix (or a newer antiplatelet medication) for a specified duration of time. Plavix is usually continued for one month after a bar metal stent but for 6-12 months (or even longer) with a drug eluting stents. Many doctors are unaware that additional details beyond whether you received a drug eluting stent factor into whether you can discontinue plavix. Therefore, I recommend you arrange to see a cardiologist to discuss this further.
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