A recent review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows that long-term use of the blood thinner Plavix (clopidogrel) has no effect on a patient's risk of death from heart disease.
Clopidogrel is typically used to prevent blood clots in patients recovering from heart attacks or strokes or who have poor circulation in their arms and legs. The drug prevents blood platelets from sticking together, which is how clots form.
"Our evaluation of the dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) 1 trial and several other clinical trials also does not suggest that clopidogrel increases the risk of cancer or death from cancer," the FDA said.
FDA officials said despite these findings, patients on a Plavix regimen should continue taking the medication as stopping could increase their risk for heart attacks or blood clots.
"Talk with your health care professional if you have any questions or concerns about clopidogrel," the FDA said.
FDA says long-term use of Plavix does not change death risk
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