Antiplatelet Medicine for Peripheral Arterial Disease
What To Think About
Risk of bleeding
Antiplatelet medicine increases the risk of bleeding. This risk of bleeding is higher in some people. Your doctor will balance the benefits and risks of an antiplatelet based on your health.
If you have a high risk of bleeding from taking an antiplatelet, your doctor may suggest you take a Reference proton pump inhibitor or a Reference histamine H2 acid reducer. This medicine may help prevent bleeding in your stomach. If you are taking both aspirin and an antiplatelet, talk with your doctor about how you can lower your risk of bleeding.
Testing for clopidogrel
A Reference genetic test might be used if your doctor thinks that your body is not using clopidogrel properly. This test checks to see if you have genes that let your body use clopidogrel. But experts aren't yet sure whether genetic changes keep clopidogrel from preventing a heart attack or stroke.
This genetic test alone is not enough to tell whether the medicine will help you. You also may have a test that shows how your body's platelets are working to clot blood. Having a platelet test after you take an antiplatelet can show if the medicine is working.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Reference Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Advice for women
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or trying to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments. And call your doctor if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: October 18, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery