FDA Says Heartburn Drugs Can Interfere with Plavix
On November 17, federal health officials said that a popular variety of heartburn medications can interfere with the blood thinner Plavix, a drug taken by millions of Americans to reduce risks of heart attack and stroke. The Associated Press reported in an article that the Food and Drug Administration said the drugs Prilosec and Nexium cut in half the blood-thinning effect of Plavix, known generically as clopidogrel.
Regulators said the key ingredient in the heartburn medications blocks an enzyme the body needs to break down Plavix, muting the drug’s full effect. Procter & Gamble’s Prilosec OTC is available over-the-counter and AstraZeneca’s Nexium is only available with a prescription.
The FDA said that patients at risk for heart attacks or strokes who use clopidogrel to prevent blood clots would not get the full effect of this medicine. Because Plavix can upset the stomach, it is often prescribed with stomach acid-blocking drugs.
The FDA recommended that patients who need to reduce their acid should take drugs from the H-2 blocker family. These include Mylanta and Zantac. FDA scientists said there is no evidence those drugs interfere with Plavix’s anti-blood clotting action.
FDA regulators said they don’t have enough information to say whether other drugs in the same class as Nexium and Prilosec (proton pump inhibitors) shouldn’t be used with Plavix. The warnings on Plavix have been strengthened based on a 150-patient study submitted over the summer. Some consumer advocates argued that regulators should have placed the information in a “black box” warning label.
It was reported last year that taking Plavix with Nexium significantly increased patients’ chances of being hospitalized for a heart attack, stroke or chest pain. Plavix’s labeling was updated to advise against using it in combination with certain heartburn drugs.
People of all ages take prescription drugs, non- prescription drugs, and supplements on a daily basis in the United States to prevent and treat various illnesses. Although these medications are supposed to help people, many people have suffered serious side effects, and even death.
If a manufacturer produces drugs or supplements that are defective, they can and should be held responsible for the injuries they cause. As a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, the company has an obligation to make a safe product, which includes various aspects such as thoroughly inspecting the product and affixing an appropriate label on the packaging.
It is extremely important that you hire a skilled PA drug injury attorney to prove that the manufacturer was responsible for producing a defective product, as this is a very complicated and difficult part of the case. It is essential to have representation on your side that has extensive experience representing people in similar matters. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a dangerous drug reaction in Pennsylvania, contact Cherry Fieger and Marciano, today for a free consultation.