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How to stop Plavix
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How to stop Plavix

I have been taking Plavix for 2 years after MI back in 2009/100% oclusion of the left ventrical artery/.. The cardiologist thinks it is safe to stop it now. I have 2 bare metal stents and one DES inside those two in the same artery. Have read a lot about the so called rebound effect of stopping Plavix, so my quiestion is: do I stop it abruptly or over period of time? Do I add any supplements that thin the blood on the top of the 81 mg of Aspirin or just increase the dose of Aspirin?
Thank you for your response
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19 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
I just stopped at once, 18 months after my last DES stents were placed. No problem at all.

As you, I am on low dose aspirin.

Jesus
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1969026_tn?1325712572
hey Tony honestly there is no reason to stop it. I too had a heart attack with a 99 percent blockage of my left main artery.  I too had stents placed. My cardiologist told me to never stop taking the plavix be cause it acts as a lubricant in the blood.  It stops the binding of plaque that causes the blockages.  Its like STP you put in the motor of your car it stops build up.  It made since to me.  It lowers the risk of blockages again.  You may want to ask your cardiologist if there is any risk that will stop you from continuing to take it other than bleeding risk.  
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1210142_tn?1266080631
Bleeding is the major factor plus hemorhage in the brain/also bleeding/. It happens to a lot of people. The risk after 12 months of taking plavix is equal of having a heart attack or bleed to death. You may want to discuss this too with your cardiologist. Thanks for the post
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976897_tn?1379171202
The whole plavix thing is getting out of hand in my opinion and probably a couple of internet scare pages have sparked it all off as usual. I was on plavix for 2 years and then taken off, but oddly enough I needed more stents within three months. If you take plavix, are you going to bleed to death or suffer brain damage? not likely. Just keep your blood pressure in the normal range. If I cut myself, I still stop bleeding, it just takes about twice as long than it used to. I think plavix is very important for CAD sufferers. The half life of plavix is short anyway, so if it came to some emergency, it wouldn't take long for the effect to wear off.
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1210142_tn?1266080631
I do agree with you. In Europe though the cardiologist advise their patients to stop Plavix after 12 months. Spoke with couple German professors and they stated that most of the patients do not expirience any problems at all after stopping it. Here, in the US it is getting out of control in terms of contradictions and you can not find the fine line between the truth and reality/like with many other things happening here/
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976897_tn?1379171202
I had a couple of nose bleeds after being on plavix for 18 months, so they stopped it. I tried to explain that I've had nose bleeds since I was a kid, but they refused to listen. Then, more blockages. Now it is agreed I stay on plavix for life. I have now been on plavix for 5 years (less the three months I was taken off) and no problems.
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1210142_tn?1266080631
Apparently you are susseptible to thrombosis. But according to the statistics and my cardiologist, not very many people are..the same picture is in Europe. Did you continue your Aspirin after you stopped Plavix? Did you add any other natural blood thinners such as garlic supplements, vitamin E, Policosanol, etc? Sorry for the so many questions but I am planning to stop Plavix as of January 31st.. Thanks
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976897_tn?1379171202
"Apparently you are susseptible to thrombosis"
Well the blockages were scar tissue and plaque, not blood clots.

I did stay on Aspirin, another med for life, but I don't take any supplements. I believe the body absorbs all it needs from a healthy diet.
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1210142_tn?1266080631
The new generation DES such as Xience, etc. have less than 1% of thrombosis..with the bare metal stents I have, my blockage due to scar tissue occured within 3 months and that's why the DES was inserted inside those two. According to the cardiologist whose opinion I respect/he graduated from Harvard and is on the top of all new studies, etc/ the chances of this to happen again are not greater than the bleeding that can happen. So I will take my chances- will taper it off first and will stop it within a month.
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976897_tn?1379171202
I don't think your Cardiologist has explained things to you in detail. Platelets are triggered when they contact certain molecules. A healthy artery lining ( endothelium) will release molecules of prostacyclin to keep the platelets inactive, preventing clotting. Now imagine you have plaque in your artery and this is ballooned. It's crushed against the artery lining, sometimes enough to cause inflammation, but the key factor here, is the damage it causes to the endothelium. Now the platelets are exposed to molecules such as collagen. Is the endothelium healthy after a year from stenting? when all that plaque is still there? There have been numerous cases where patients have stopped Clopidogrel and virtually instantly developed blood clots, which suggests not always.
With regards to scar tissue. Yes DES have improved matters to some extent, but the drug delivery of the stent is very inefficient. If you look at any stent, it's a wire mesh with lots of open spaces. Only the mesh has the drug, not the spaces and my Cardiologist said about 1-10% of the artery covered by the stent receives the drug. It isn't enough. For a simple solution, Europe has been using DEB, drug eluting balloons. The artery is first expanded with a drug coated balloon, then stented, and the balloon covers 98-100% of the artery lining. This has reduced the instances of scar formation significantly. It has been so effective that these balloons are used to open vessels too small to accept a stent. I believe the FDA are still deciding whether to take on this technology.
Going back to the thrombus issue. Quite recently the procedure for installing stents has changed here. It was considered that time of inflation was more important than pressure for good results. They have now changed to higher pressure for shorter periods of time but this does cause a lot of stress on the endothelium, giving higher possibilities for thrombus. My first stent in 2007 was inflated to make the lesioned area the same internal diameter as the rest of the vessel. The two stents I had in 2010 were inflated to almost double the normal diameter of the vessel. It will take a lot of plaque to fill that :)
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1210142_tn?1266080631
I do understand very well what you are saying and definetely I am familiar with all this- including DEB. To make it simple through this discussion: my cardiologist told me that from all his patients who stopped Plavix after 1 year and have had heart attack before- less than 1% have expirienced serious problems. All others are enjoying their lifes with no Plavix:) And if you look at some of the posts above/from jrbon- he stopped Plavix after 18 months and have not had any problems. My sister is an MD in Bulgaria and the practice there is almost the same as here- stopping Plavix after 12 months. So, no matter how much and how long we discuss this- the statistics should speak for itself.
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976897_tn?1379171202
I suppose if you believe in statistics, then I see your point. However, if the < 1% is true, I have to ask why so many cardiologists pressurised the FDA into looking at the guidelines on plavix. I would certainly be happy with those kind of results.
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1210142_tn?1266080631
They did look at guidelines and as you remember changed them from 6 months to 1 year. Those are the official ones- at least here in the US. I know of a person who was in car accident, hit his head and died from hematoma. He was on Plavix and aspirin for over 3 years...so the drug is far away from harmless not speaking about the fact that it does not show very many benefits beyond 1 year of use/with few exceptions probably/.
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Avatar_m_tn
Had Two Major Strokes,Been on a Total Plant baed diet for a month, dont need plavix or have high Blood Pressure or high LDL any more since my platelets don't stick together ( clot factors,lipids are normal now) . See "Reverse Hesrt Disease" by C Esselyn MD or"Forks over Knives"
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1210142_tn?1266080631
I will, thanks
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976897_tn?1379171202
Nothing wrong with looking, but I would always be a bit sceptical unless claims are backed up by large scale trials. I did a search on the internet and it's amazing how many 'Doctors' claim to have the cure diet.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been on Plavix for 5 years   no side effects---but  am wondering if I should stop.   Both parents had open heart surgery and I have 3 stents at the age of 58.  I am healthy, work out, chol  232  unable to take drugs for cholesterol.   CAD  is a problem in my family.   Will Plavix keep me MI  free?
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Avatar_m_tn
At 43  I had a heart attach November 28 /2006 .. got a stent. put on cocktail of
Plavix( clopidogrel ) / metoprolol  /Lipitor /aspirin ect ...Bad side effects started a week later...
Heart  palpitations  loss of breath chest pains ..thought I was having another attack..ect ect
Went to hospital EKG showed irregularities so had another angioplasty .. guess what no blockage …heh...
I was taken off plavix year later dec 1 2007 had another heart attack jan 3rd /2008 …34 days after stopping the plavix .. doctor said it was just a coincidence ….ya right...
So they put another stent in me ..and back on plavix….bad side effects started again…..
So this time after the year was up I did not stop the plavix from fear of another attack ..so I weaned myself off plavix for the next 5 years to be safe ..from a 3/4 pill to 1/2 a pill to a 1/4 pill for last 2 years ..
I stopped the ¼ pill of plavix on dec 1 /2013 …no more chest pains / aching joints giant bruising ...
Well I had another heart attack on feb 8th 2014... same old story ..its not plavix.. I would not let them do a angioplasty and put another stent in me this time .. I said jack me up on blood thinners and wait..
Then I did a stress test 2 days later with the radioactive dye and there was no blockage that could be found.. so they sent me home with my new prescription for plavix..
How the hell do i get off this demon plavix ???????
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63984_tn?1385441539
I totally agree with Ed.  
Like Ed, I have about 10 stents, I've quit counting, also had bypass heart surgery, and also have a pacemaker.  
One year after my bypass surgery, I was feeling wonderful, exercising at age 72 with weights and cardio, and insisted I quit Plavix.  Within six months, my bypass veins failed because of blood clots, and I went into CHF in a New York Minute.  I stayed on 325 aspirin, but was tired of the bruising and other inconveniences of Plavix.  It was a huge mistake.  I had a new procedure to try and open my native arteries, and it succeeded enough that I can get around, but I'm at least 3/4 disabled compared to how I felt before I quit taking Plavix.  I made a huge mistake, I listened to internet BS.
That said, backtracking seven years ago when I was taking 150mg of Plavix, I had a bowel obstruction which was life-ending, and emergency surgery needed to take place.  The Surgeon had back-up blood platelets and proceded.  Surgeons don't like Plavix, of course, but certainly know how to deal with those who need immediate surgery.
Plavix is in my opinion a life saver, I'm back taking 150 mg as well as 325mg of aspirin.  Yes, Like Ed, I bleed when my cat accidently scratches me or I nick myself shaving, and I bruise easily, but Tony, I'm still standing.
I'd suggest you not play with your health, a lot of us pole-vaulted over mouse turds.  Thanks for posting, keep us informed and best wishes.
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