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Clopidogrel is used to prevent the formation of blood clots. It is a commonly used drug in human medicine and is sold under the trade name of Plavix. In humans, Clopidogrel is used for patients who have had strokes, or are at risk for having a stroke, and in patients that may be at risk for a heart attack due to a blood clot.
Clopidogrel works on platelets, which are the blood cells that are responsible for clot formation. It has a different mechanism of action than aspirin, which is also used in animals or humans that are at risk for blood clots. Clopidogrel is used in veterinary medicine in cats that are at risk for having a blood clot, particularly those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It is also used in dogs with clotting disorders such as immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. There has been more research on the use of clopidogrel in cats than in dogs.
Clopidogrel may be combined with aspirin or it may be used on its own in animals that are unable to tolerate aspirin. Like many other drugs in veterinary medicine, this drug is not FDA approved for use in animals and is not available from a veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer. Instead, it is compounded by a specialty pharmacy.
Give this medication to your pet exactly as your veterinarian prescribes. If you miss giving your pet a dose of clopidogrel, give the next dose as soon as you remember or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, return to the regular schedule. Do not double dose to catch up.
Wash your hands after giving your pet this medication.
Be sure to discuss any side effects with your veterinarian immediately.
Clopidogrel is generally well tolerated in the cat. The most commonly reported side effects are vomiting and loss of appetite. It may be helpful to give the clopidogrel with food.
Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children. This drug should only be given to the animal for which it was prescribed. Do not give this medication to a person.Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.
Clopidogrel decreases the ability to form blood clots. It should not be used in animals where there is active bleeding.
Be sure to review with your veterinarian any medications or supplements your pet may be receiving.
Clopidogrel may be used with other drugs that decrease clotting such as aspirin or heparin, but the combination of these drugs could increase the risk of a major bleeding incident. Other drugs that may increase clotting time include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and warfarin/coumarin anticoagulants. Usually animals that are receiving clopidogrel have a very serious underlying medical problem. You and your veterinarian will need to weigh the benefits of drugs that increase clotting time with the possible risks associated with bleeding.
Clopidogrel may slow the metabolism of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, phenytoin, toresemide, and warfarin.
If you suspect your pet or another animal was overdosed accidentally or has eaten this medication inadvertently, contact your veterinarian or the A.S.P.C.A.'s Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435. Always bring the prescription container with you when you take your pet for treatment.
If you or someone else has accidentally ingested this medication call the National Capital Poison Center at 800.222.1222.
Different strengths or dosage forms of clopidogrel may have different storage requirements. Read the labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements of the prescription you receive.
Dr. Barbara Forney is a veterinary practitioner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She has a master's degree in animal science from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.
She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.
Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.
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This content is intended for counseling purposes only. This content is informational/educational and is not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or patient. No claims are made as to the safety or efficacy of mentioned preparations. The compounded medications featured in this content have been prescribed and/or administered by prescribers who work with Wedgewood Pharmacy. You are encouraged to speak with your prescriber as to the appropriate use of any medication. Wedgewood Pharmacy’s compounded veterinary preparations are not intended for use in food and food-producing animals. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.