Plavix side effects seem to be mostly associated with uncontrolled, sometimes fatal bleeding.
Let's see now - is that serious??
If you are faced with the prospect of having to take Plavix but haven't had it prescribed yet, maybe you should explore every avenue available for avoiding this drug. If you're already taking it, you may well want to get off of it - but it seems that you must do so only with the help of a medical doctor - most likely one with training and experience in weaning patients off this drug.
Here's the url for a highly informative article posted on February 5, 2008 which presents the risks of stopping Plavix: http://www.ptca.org/news/2008/0205_PLAVIX.html
While researching this topic for a couple of hours in front of the tube, and while having trouble keeping my eyes open, I was close to concluding that this drug could well be one of the few good ones.
Assuming there are some good ones.
The only reason I was thinking that there were some positive aspects to the use of this drug is that there seem to be a lot of people who rely on it. These are folks who's heart and circulatory systems have seriously deteriorated - even while in the care of any number of physicians.
But before abandoning this particular search, I did a search on the phrase plavix related deaths. This is a very interesting site: http://medicalconsumers.org/tag/plavix-related-death/
Coincidentally the program on the tube playing in the background was Sherlock Holmes. Actually, the name of the program is Elementary.
Holmes and his protege Watson were working on a perplexing case involving a supposed medical condition known as CAA - or - cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Meanwhile, the article I was reading on the above site was also discussing CAA.
Several other very interesting bits of medical information also appear on the same page of the medicalconsumers.org site in question.
The centerpiece of this webpage is an article titled How prescription drug harms can go unnoticed. The article had been posted on July 12, 2012.
Lots of important information comes from a careful reading of this article.
This posting came about as the result of the death of a prominent medical doctor, Barbara Starfield, M.D. whose husband, also an M.D., followed up on a work his deceased wife had started during her amazing career.
The surviving husband's name is Neil A. Holtzman, M.D.
Dr. Starfield had published many papers about improving the quality of medical care.
My credentials do not include any formal training in the medical field nor in any related health field. All of my expertise, limited as it may be, is the result of observation of my own family's experience relative to health maintenance.
I'm still a young person at heart - but I have made 70 trips around the sun (thanks to my 43-year-old son for pointing this out to me).
During the last 50 or so of these years, I've had occasion to observe the failing health and death of many close friends and relatives. Many, maybe all of those deaths were premature.
I've been very critical of western medicine and doctors in general for many years.
But once in a while the skills and dedication of one or more medically trained physicians pop into the picture. Finding this article about Drs. Starfield and Holtzman is one of those occasions.
Some M.D.s easily command respect as a result of great skill and dedication to their calling, and they deserve every bit of that respect.
Dr. Starfield apparently died due to a Plavix side effect - though it could be viewed as being the result of the drug's main effect as a blood thinner.
The writer of How prescription drug harms can go unnoticed begins the posting by reminding us of something we should all be vitally concerned with: Twelve years ago, the American public first heard the shocking news that deaths due to medical care constitute the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—after deaths from heart disease and cancer.
Sadly and ironically, the death of the research physician who introduced this statistic has recently been attributed to her medical care. Implicated is the commonly prescribed and widely advertised drug Plavix.
So Dr. Starfield was a medical doctor who had worked to bring this disturbing stat to the attention of the public.
Officially the cause of her death was pool drowning, with cerebral hemorrhage is the underlying condition with cerebral amyloid angiopathy - or CAA - identified on the death certificate under other significant conditions.
Plavix is the “anticoagulation therapy” mentioned in the autopsy report. Dr. Holtzman explained that his wife had been diagnosed with a heart condition called coronary insufficiency three years before her death. Initially, she was put on aspirin therapy, but six months later a stent was implanted to open the right main coronary artery. Plavix is the standard open-ended treatment thereafter.
This information was made public by Dr. Starfield's surviving husband, also a physician.
Dr. Holtzman has also been well published in the medical journals, and he has also been in the thick of the effort to reveal information to the public and his fellow practitioners which the drug companies would rather hide.
Plavix side effects typically listed either on the label or on pamphlets inserted in the packaging are very complicated and highly technical - though much of the writing has very much to do with the direct effect of the drug rather than unintended side effects.
Careful reading of the disclosure information by a layman would take several hours. Understanding very much of it requires a medical degree.
Here's a page which presents comprehensive information about Plavix: http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?id=79304
Not having any inclination to try to digest even a portion of the massive volume of mostly technical information given on that page, I scanned through to section 6.2, which looks like this:
6.2 Postmarketing Experience
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of Plavix. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of an unknown size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
* Blood and lymphatic system disorders: Agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia/pancytopenia,
thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)
* Eye disorders: Eye (conjunctival, ocular, retinal) bleeding
* Gastrointestinal disorders: Gastrointestinal and retroperitoneal hemorrhage with fatal outcome, colitis (including ulcerative or lymphocytic colitis), pancreatitis, stomatitis, gastric/duodenal ulcer, diarrhea
*General disorders and administration site condition: Fever, hemorrhage of operative wound
*Hepato-biliary disorders: Acute liver failure, hepatitis (non-infectious), abnormal liver function test
*Immune system disorders: Hypersensitivity reactions, anaphylactoid reactions, serum sickness
*Musculoskeletal, connective tissue and bone disorders: Musculoskeletal bleeding, myalgia, arthralgia, arthritis
*Nervous system disorders: Taste disorders, fatal intracranial bleeding, headache
*Psychiatric disorders: Confusion, hallucinations
*Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: Bronchospasm, interstitial pneumonitis, respiratory tract bleeding
*Renal and urinary disorders: Increased creatinine levels
*Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: Maculopapular or erythematous rash, urticaria, bullous dermatitis, eczema, toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, angioedema, erythema multiforme, skin bleeding, lichen planus, generalized pruritus
*Vascular disorders: Vasculitis, hypotension
Notice that these Pavix side effects are designated as those which can and often do occur during the post-approval period.
Post-approval period means that use of the drug beyond the period of time for which the drug is approved.
The article I cited earlier, How prescription drug harms can go unnoticed found at http://medicalconsumers.org/tag/plavix-related-death/ points out that just two aspirin vs. Plavix clinical trials had been conducted in people who had stents implanted. Neither lasted more than one year. Anything longer than 12 months in these situations involving stent implants is post-approval.
I'm sure that the vast majority of the victims or patients using Plavix never read these side effects or effects. They may hear some of them from their doctor, but if the doctor has decided to prescribe the stuff, it's doubtful that the side effects have received emphasis.
As some of the medical websites point out, if a particular drug is being prescribed, your doctor, in his infinite wisdom, believes that the benefits outweigh the potential dangers from side effects.
Have you ever been in a personal friendship type of relationship with a doctor? Or, maybe you're a doctor, or possibly a nurse or other medical professional, and you've known one or more doctors at a friendship level.
I've known a few doctors well enough to have them occasionally expound on the sheer stupidity of their patients.
Sometimes the doctors' rants take the form of vituperous shouting about a particular patient who challenges the doctor's authority by refusing to take a particular prescription medication.
Lots of individuals find themselves unable to continue taking prescription meds because the side effects are far worse than the condition being treated.
When the patient happens to be a doctor, maybe the patient isn't quite so stupid.
There are many doctors who are incredibly fine physicians and are not so egocentric. If yours is prone to dismissing your questions as silly or stupid, or if he or she reacts strongly when questioned about a prescription or other decision, maybe you should find another doctor.
Some doctors are very willing to help patients stop taking any medication. They often refer to the practice of safely weaning a patient from medications. Other doctors tell their patients to plan on taking Plavix for life.
It's clearly quite possible to quit Plavix or any other drug without necessarily replacing it with another drug. In my completely non-professional opinion, it should always be accomplished through the careful and informed use of diet and exercise.
There are a lot of doctors these days who practice the healing arts using alternative and holistic methods. I would guess that excellent doctors in these categories can be found in any large city. There are even some in smaller cities and towns.
Dr. Stan Gardner practices in Riverton, Utah - which is part of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area.
His website is keystohealing.net, which I found on the first page when I Googled plavix weaning. His advice to anyone stuck on Plavix is to get advice from a physician who knows you and your situation first hand.
That's good advice, but I would add the possibility of finding an excellent alternative or integrative practitioner. Dr. Alejandro Junger, author of the best-selling book, Clean, advises readers to interview their doctor - ask tough questions, and let them know that you the patient, are in charge. If the answers don't satisfy you, find a doctor who practices integrative or holistic medicine.
Dr. Gardner, on his page titled Weaning off Plavix, tells us that vascular disease is the result of inflammation from consuming too much sugar and processed food. Dr. Junger, who is a trained cardiologist provides the same information.
A little more detail is available in his book.
Clean informs us that atherochlorosis and heart disease are the result of very poor diet - which is SAD - standing for Standard American Diet. Junger also tells us that inflammation is the culprit but also implicates mucous.
Sounds funny - but it's not funny at all. Many foods in our normal diet cause toxic reactions and mucous build up in various parts of the body - including the arteries and heart.
The 21-day cleanse described by Dr. Junger in his book may be just what anyone needs to successfully get off Plavix or any other drug. Successful completion of that 21-day program will yield wonderful results for drastically improving your health and putting yourself on the road to complete independence from all drugs.