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Old 12-28-2006, 01:13 PM   #1
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plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

My problem is that I have to take plavix with a regular strength aspirin, and it is killing my stomach. It is hard to sleep at night because of the stomach pain. I've tried several different tricks (extra water, antacid, 2 pepsid, nexium, a snack, and of course the coated aspirin) but it still hurts. Any suggestions?

Also, I have problems with ting blood vessels breaking and leaving big purple spots when I take plavix with aspirin and the more aspirin I take the more busted blood vessels I get, plus they seem to be larger too. Last year I tried dropping the plavix and baby aspirin and I was only taking a regular strength aspirin, but a month later I started to have shortness of breath with chest distress. They suspected that the problem was caused from the blockage of small blood vessels and that the Plavix was keeping them from blocking, so they put me back on plavix. Sure enough, the shortness of breath and angina eased off. They have told me many times that I will need to be on plavix and aspirin the rest of my life. I just received another stent and they again upped my aspirin to 325 that I have to take with my plavix. They said to be careful never to skip. Anyone else having these problems?

enie

 
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:56 PM   #2
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Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

Supposedly, aspirin is harder on the stomach than Plavix (though I'm not necessarily convinced).

Yes, my gi problems are much worse than they were before I started all my cardiac meds; it's something I've learned to live with though mine is more periodic discomfort than pain. And I suspect the metroprolol and Lipitor I take are also contributing.

Have you talked with your doctor and made sure you aren't suffering from gi bleeds? That would be a primary risk of both Plavix and aspirin. Has s/he considered Protonix or another gi med? I, for example, can't take Prilosec but Protonix helps. (Though I'm not taking either now).

I take 2 coated baby aspirin per day, one in a.m. with my Plavix and one in p.m. with Niaspan...they originally wanted me on a full 325 mg. but after about 9 mos. I was bruising too much so we cut back to that amount.

Last edited by Connie122516; 12-28-2006 at 09:58 PM.

 
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Old 12-29-2006, 02:53 AM   #3
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Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

enie,

I also take Plavix and I'm suppose to be taking a baby asprin also but I ran out of them and I haven't had an asprin in a long time. I have never thought about it but every now and then I take a real bad hurting right in the pit of my stomach and I don't know whats casuing it, but the Plavix has never crossed my mind. I am gonna ask my Doctor about it because when it hits me, it's so bad of a pain that I have to take a pain pill and I have also taken soda because it tells you on the box how to mix it for indigestion and I thought that might of been what it was.

I too, bruise real easily and the least little scratch I will bleed and bleed like I can't get it to stop but I have been on Plavix for years and years now. I first had my blood clots in 1993 so I have been on Plavix since then. I also have the purple weins on my legs and around my ankles real bad and I use to not have them. So I guess it's from the Plavix. But they say I have got to take it because I have already had to have 2 stents placed behind my heart. We just can't win for lossing can we?

 
Old 12-29-2006, 06:10 AM   #4
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Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

enie,

Don't think of "Plavix and baby aspirin" as if it was one word. They are two very diffferent drugs. Take ONE and see if all is well and then take the OTHER and see what happens.

MANY people do perfectly fine with daily aspirin and NO Plavix...I'll bet you do to.

I think Plavix has a much greater chance of bleeding than aspirin and thus is guaranteed to cause stomach bleeds. It is apparent you CANNOT take these two drugs without severe risk of ulcers or worse.

My recommendation: put the Plavix in a closet somewhere and see if your stomach rewards you with just the aspirin; I'll bet it will. If so, flush the Plavix.
If NOT, then take just the Plavix <yeccch!>

Quote:
They suspected that the problem was caused from the blockage of small blood vessels and that the Plavix was keeping them from blocking, so they put me back on plavix.
That silly diagnosis sounds like it came directly from the Plavix manufacturer.

There are lots of lawyers on the net assembling cases against Plavix ulcers, deadly hemmorhaging.
THis kind of thing is typical:
Quote:
Our Plavix lawyers are investigating potential claims for users who have suffered any of the following injuries after using the blood thinner:

Heart Attack
Stroke
Gastrointestinal Bleeding
Ulcers
Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpora (TTP Blood Condition)
Death
BEWARE this drug.

Last edited by Lenin; 12-29-2006 at 06:18 AM.

 
Old 12-30-2006, 10:21 AM   #5
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Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

Hi guys, Thanks for replying.
Oh yeah, it’s for sure that Plavix by itself hurts my stomach and plavix with baby aspirin even more so, but wow, with the regular strength aspirin it is more than I can handle without help this time.

I too bleed and bleed and bleed over a simple scratch, sometimes for days, but how can you tell if it is your stomach bleeding causing the pain?

They don’t want to do a lot of those tests that look inside of your stomach yet because I’m not strong enough yet. As soon as I heal from this last heart cath, I will be set up for a test to look at my stomach. It takes me a couple of months to heal.
I just thought that you guys might have a trick up your sleeve to keep it from hurting so bad. I have so many other pains I have to deal with, sometimes one more pain is one too many. You know what I mean???

I would love to stop taking plavix, but the last time I stopped taking it, I had major problems. And I don’t know if it was just a coincidence or whether it was the cause. Plus when I left the hospital this last time, the Doctor, the NP, and the discharge Nurse all insisted that "it is very important that you don’t miss a dose or stop taking your plavix and a regular strength aspirin for three months and after that to go to a 81mg aspirin with your plavix'. .
I don’t like it when someone tells me “You will have to be on it for the rest of your life”, but could it be because the Doctor sees something going on? Or is it standard procedure now?

Can your body become dependent on plavix? A lot of questions I know…………..

Another off the top of my hat question???
Could it be that my heart does not like the 5 Stents and the pacemaker wires and it is more than my heart wants to deal with, so it stays inflamed? Or could it be that since I'm allergic to metal (especially stainless steel that has been processed using nickel) that my heart might be reacting to the Stents and the pacemaker wires and that is why I constantly have to have catherization procedures to clean up the mess? (Even thou I've been on a low cholesterol diet since 1985). I remember reading a post saying what plaque was made up of. Couldn’t an allergic reaction trigger plaque biuldup too? Four years ago my heart surgeon had said it was the disease around my heart pushing on the arteries from the outside that caused them to be restricted and to block. And my Cardiac NP says that my liver is producing the out of control cholesterol that is causing the blockages so quickly. I guess it is both, but I wonder about my heart not liking all that medal also.
enie

 
Old 12-31-2006, 06:01 AM   #6
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Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

Quote:
I don’t like it when someone tells me “You will have to be on it for the rest of your life”, but could it be because the Doctor sees something going on? Or is it standard procedure now?
It's not even a matter of liking or disliking it. With severe stomach pain and prolonged bleeding you CANNOT be on this drug combo for life...absolutely CANNOT. It is just a matter of time til you perforate your stomach. That pain is speaking loudly...your doctor should be listening.

Can 5 stents cause inflammation? I think it's quite possible that one or another of those stents is irritating your heart. Usually surgical stainless steel is pretty innocuous but the body STILL recognizes it as foreign substance even if it doesn't corrode.

You have to find out if you can tolerate only aspirin. I DO hope that ONE of these thinners will be okay for you...and I'm rooting for the aspirin.
An ace in the hole: If the stomach pain occurs with either Plavix or aspirin ask your doctor for ANOTHER class of blood thinner like coumadin (warfarin) or heparin.

You are a special case...make sure your doctor TESTS your clotting times and platelet agglomeration rates so that you don't get any more blood thinners than you reallly need.

Last edited by Lenin; 12-31-2006 at 06:06 AM.

 
Old 12-31-2006, 07:52 AM   #7
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Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

Thank you very much for the info. It realy makes sense and I will take it to heart.
enie

 
Old 01-01-2007, 10:03 AM   #8
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Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

Enie,

There is scientific evidence suggesting that people who stop taking Plavix after having stents run a higher risk of having stent thrombosis (blood clot). The FDA just recommended that the length of time a person stay on Plavix (and aspirin) after a stent be raised from 3 mos (for the Cypher stent) and 6 mos (for the Taxus stent) to at least one year for both types, and many prominent cardiologists are saying stay on it "indefinitely."

I have chosen to stay on it indefinitely (at least until there are more scientific studies done, or until I have side effects more problematic than easy bruising).

In my opinion, you need to work with your doctor(s) to figure out whether it is the aspirin, or the Plavix, or both, or something else all together that is causing the pain. The gi workup you're scheduled for should assist with that. I don't understand why they would wait so long to at least start that process; there are some relatively non-invasive things they can do to make sure you aren't bleeding (the easiest would be testing your stools for occult blood).

If I were you, I'd be insisting that my doctor understand how bad the pain is, that I am concerned about waiting so long to make sure my GI tract is okay, and that I want to clearly understand the relative risks in my individual case of GI bleeds, etc. from Plavix/aspirin vs. a stent thrombosis if I were to stop taking one or both of the meds.

Last edited by Connie122516; 01-01-2007 at 10:07 AM.

 
Old 01-01-2007, 02:21 PM   #9
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Post Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

I agree, you have to be really proactive on this one. Anticoagulants can cause serious bleeding, along with guiacing stool for blood , your doctor can check you blood levels for anemia which would also indicate bleeding. Of course, the best course is to have the GI workup.
All medications carry the possibility of serious side effects, but stent placement creates a potential for life threatening clots and not prescribing anti-clotting meds would be irresponsible.
Numerous studies have shown the major cause of potentially fatal blood clots is prematurely stopping antiplatelet therapy.
One problem with treating solely with aspirin is some people are "aspirin resistant". In these people aspirin's inhibition of platelet function is only partial or minimal, that's why most anticoagulant therapy involves a combination of aspirin and another drug . Aspirin resistance is associated with an increased rate of cardiovascular events.
There are alternative choices other than Plavix, some doctors will order Ticlid instead but, as previously stated they all carry their own risks.

 
Old 01-02-2007, 12:06 AM   #10
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Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

Thank you very much for your helpful responses.
I know that something is going on in my stomach, but hopefully it is just a sore or an ulcer. It’s just that the pain is so intense right after I take my plavix and aspirin, it is hard to deal with. Yes, I have had a blood test but they have not said anything. I must say that they do take blood tests every time I’m in the office, but they never say what they are looking for or what the results are, even when I ask.
I am still very weak to have serious stomach tests right now. Hopefully in a few weeks I will be better. My stamina is about 20 seconds, but it has improved a little since they put in the stent Dec 7th.

In April of 06, even thou I was faithfully taking the plavix and a baby aspirin, I had what I believe was a small stroke a few days after having my heart catherization, where they did a roto thing, plus balloonings, and a stent. The stroke was not officially diagnosed because I wasn’t strong enough to tolerate the ER and I couldn’t get an appointment for a couple of weeks. When I was finally able to tell the Cardiac NP my symptoms, the only thing that they said was that it sounds like it was a small stroke and they said to take two baby aspirins with my plavix. So you see why I am leery of not taking plavix and the aspirin.

Because of all my problems, it is not easy to get the Doctors to understand how bad the pain is. Plus they have to wait for me to get stronger befor they send me to another Doctor.
enie

 
Old 01-02-2007, 12:30 AM   #11
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Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

perhaps I have been given the wrong info but I was told there is no antidodt? for plavix , that it can cause bleeding in your brain and elsewhere.and not to take any thing else with after my 2 stents. my cardiac md , had a cow when I told him I was taken motrin 800 mg. for ankle pain had to take tylenol which does nothing not even the 650 mg
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Old 01-02-2007, 06:46 AM   #12
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Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

enie,

Quote:
In April of 06, even thou I was faithfully taking the plavix and a baby aspirin, I had what I believe was a small stroke a few days after having my heart catherization
Of course, a hemmorhagic stroke is the absolute WORST side effect of Plavix. So instead of the words "even though," a good substitute might be "because of."

Please don't think in terms of "only an ulcer or sore." My father had "only an ulcer" and was found unconscious in a huge pool of blood on the kitchen floor; he had lost at least 2 quarts of blood when his ulcer perforated. He barely escaped death...my mom found him in time.

Enie,
You are a special case; you should have your Platelet Stickiness measured and if aspirin alone does enough of a job, then that's what your doctor should be okay with. Killing you by sticking to some regimen that a drug company has decided will maximize sales isn't the way to go. Plavix is just too new and too risky to have everyone who has a heart problem on it. Especially when it works "as good as aspirin" when it works. If a baby aspirin alone gives you a low enough platelet stickiness, then it is all you need to take. If they won;t measure it, then find a doctor who will.

<By analogy, using Plavix "for a year" or "forever" is akin to giving everyone on the planet Lipitor because it sometimes helps prevent heart disease...no need to measure cholesterol. See what I mean.>

Califblu,
From what I have also read, there is NO medical intervention to stop a Plavix bleed other than to keep replacing blood.

Last edited by Lenin; 01-02-2007 at 07:04 AM.

 
Old 01-02-2007, 07:38 AM   #13
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Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

I'm not sure. I guess they thought the small stroke was from a clot, not a bleed.
I guess the Doctors are doing something while they are waiting for me to heal. Besides doing a blood test on the 18th, the Doctor had told me to stop my zetia and the statin. Plus she said to cut my celebrex to 200, (so now my joints and ribs hurt). I really can’t see that it helped........

I first started having extra stomach pain when I started on isordil back in October. They gave it to me to go along with my nitro patches, to reduce the angina and help my breathing. It really messed up my stomach big time, so they gave me a coated long acting isosorbide instead and things calm down, so I didn't think that it was the culprit. But then after the stent and they upped the Aspirin, wow. It seems to be a different pain than befor. Now it’s an almost immediate ‘pure pain’ that lasts for hours.

I've decided to stop the nexium and up my pepcid for a few days. They had increased the nexium but I did not see any improvement.
I’m on day two of a new approach. I am taking two pepcid with the plavix and aspirin. Last night it still hurt badly but it didn't seem to have the impact that it did befor. I just hope that it does not reduce the effect of the plavix.

enie

 
Old 01-02-2007, 07:47 AM   #14
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Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

Lenin,
I just read your post. I think that testing for platelet stickiness is a fabulous idea and I am calling my Cardiac NP today to see if she will do that. I am always one that wants the least medicine, but they always seem to give me the maximum.

They one time told me that mine was a balancing act, and I'm beginning to see what they mean.
enie

 
Old 01-02-2007, 09:20 AM   #15
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Re: plavix & aspirin is killing my stomach

Quote:
Originally Posted by enie
Yes, I have had a blood test but they have not said anything. I must say that they do take blood tests every time I’m in the office, but they never say what they are looking for or what the results are, even when I ask.
I am still very weak to have serious stomach tests right now. Hopefully in a few weeks I will be better. My stamina is about 20 seconds, but it has improved a little since they put in the stent Dec 7th.......

Because of all my problems, it is not easy to get the Doctors to understand how bad the pain is. Plus they have to wait for me to get stronger befor they send me to another Doctor.
enie
Do you have a family member or friend (or friend of a friend) with some medical knowledge who you can designate to be your advocate? (Advocacy skills are probably more important than medical knowledge). Even though I have strong medical advocacy skills, when it is ME being tinkered with, especially when I'm not feeling well or am anxious, I sometimes forget to ask the right questions (even when I bring my list with me) or be insistent enough.

You have the right to know what tests they are doing, why they are doing them, and what the results are. You have a right to copies of those test results if you want them. (Don't ask the person drawing your blood or running the machine; they really can't answer many questions, but the doctor(s) and nurse(s) can and must: that's their job!).

And, if your doctor doesn't understand how bad the pain is, it may be time to think about seeing a different doctor.

Good luck.

Last edited by Connie122516; 01-02-2007 at 09:21 AM.

 
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