The oral antiplatelet agent Clopidogrel was marketed jointly by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Sanofi SA under the brand name Plavix. It is used to treat the formation of blood clots in peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, and coronary artery disease. It belongs to the thienopyridine-class antiplatelet agent. Plavix works in an irreversible manner by blocking a receptor called P2Y12, adenosine diphosphate (ADP) chemoreceptor on platelet membranes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Plavix on November 17, 1997.
New England Journal of Medicine showed that patients who were on Plavix were 12 times more likely to experience gastrointestinal bleed, (GI bleed), and chronic ulcers than those taking Aspirin. The research revealed that Plavix and Aspirin if combined offered no benefit to the patients. Plavix increased the risk of moderate and serious bleeding. The study emphasized that the cost and risks of Plavix could not justify its use for the prevention of coronary artery disease and heart attack.
A study conducted by US Centers for Disease Control found that patients who used Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid before Plavix were more prone to get re-admitted to hospital thus making Plavix less effective.