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Heart medication

  I have been taking Ticlid since a heart attack in December.  
  My physician recently changed to a "new medication" called Plavix which does not require a bimonthly CBC monitoring.  
  Can you tell me something about this new drug and also the differences between this drug and Ticlid.
  I had assumed I was taking Ticlid only as an alternative to aspirin since I am allergic to aspirin.
  I compliment  you and the Cleveland Clinic for the sponsorship of this forum This is a wonderful, informative website.
  Jan Carroll
Dear Jan:
Plavix (clopidogrel) is a newer drug that functions against the platelets (the cells in the blood that help with clot formation) in a manner similar to Ticlid (ticlopidine).  The main benefit of Plavix is that it is less likely to cause some of the serious side effects that Ticlid can cause.  Patients taking Ticlid need routine monitoring of their blood counts (with the CBC test) to try to catch some of these side effects before it is too late.  At this early stage, it seems that Plavix will be a safer alternative to Ticlid.  Many cardiologists are already switching patients from Ticlid to Plavix.  
If you wish to be evaluated here at the Cleveland Clinic, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE for an appointment with a cardiologist at desk F15.  Information provided in the Heart Forum is for general purposes only.  Specific diagnoses and therapies can only be provided by your doctor.

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