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ThoseEyes, June 22,  2019  3:47pm EST

Brilinta vs Plavix

Last month I had a STEMI and a stent was placed. Brilinta 90mg BID was part of my discharge meds. I'm guessing that that was according to the hospital's protocol. 

Yesterday I got something in the mail from my health insurance company suggesting I have them contact my cardiologist regarding switching to Clopidogrel (Plavix) so I would save money. I'm not that naive, that change would save THEM money too. I also understand that the reasoning for anything supplied while in a hospital can be complex.

Yes I know it's something I should in theory discuss with my cardiologist, but the Rx will need to be refilled before my next appointment with him. How have others here dealt with this? What have your doctors said (and yes, I know we're all different)? Did you switch? What was the result, if anything?

  • EMON1
    EMON1, June 22,  2019  4:02pm EST

    I think that's a pretty common insurance issue, (yes, because of cost). My doctor gave me samples to stay on Brilinta the 1st 'critical' month, but switched me over to generic Plavix afterwards. Except in rare cases, apparently Plavix is felt to be time tested, effective and much cheaper. (Some people actually have problems with Brilinta anyway)

  • ThoseEyes
    ThoseEyes, June 22,  2019  4:34pm EST

    Thanks for the reply. I had a coupon for the first month for free. That one bottle was all my local pharmacy had and I wound up getting the next three months mail order, so I have a couple of months before it would need changing or renewing. It was $131 (for 90 days), not cheap, but not horrible either. 

  • KimiT
    KimiT, June 22,  2019  4:38pm EST

    My issue with Brilinta was two fold...first I did not have insurance at the time of my HA and couldn't afford it but my Dr. did give me a few months supply free.  Secondly I could not tolerate the side effects of shortness of breath and tiredness so he switched me to Plavix.  It seems to work fine and I don' t have any side effects from it.

    Do you have problems with Brilinta or are you ok on it ?  If you're not feeling any side effects stay on it.  Don't let the insurance company dictate what you and your Dr. should decide that.

    Best of luck,


  • ThoseEyes
    ThoseEyes, June 22,  2019  4:47pm EST

    Thanks Kimi, It isn't always easy to sort things out, is it? I keep hearing the phrase "new normal", so I don't know what might be better with a med change. My new PCP had mentioned the idea of making the switch too, but I don't think he'd be the one to actually do it. I think I will be calling the cardiologist's office...

  • Giuliana
    Giuliana, June 22,  2019  5:17pm EST

    When I had my stent put in they had me on Plavix, but after I had the stent thrombosis they put me on Brilinta.   At first I had difficulty with shortness of breath, but now 5 months later it’s very, very slight.   All my doctors wanted me on Brilinta.  So far so good.   

  • ThoseEyes
    ThoseEyes, June 22,  2019  5:47pm EST

    Giuliana, I totally get that Brilinta is the newest/latest and supposedly greatest, but I also have an affinity for tried and true. Additionaly I know that I might not be on whichever for more than a year, i.e. a mere blip in the cosmos. I figure I have until early September to ponder this...

  • cdameron
    cdameron, June 22,  2019  6:17pm EST

    I took Clopidogrel (Plavix) for two years. The biggest thing for me was the time of day I took it! When I started I took it in the AM with most of my other meds. The fact is I did better if I took them at night as far as side effects were concerned. I am off Plavix now but only take blood pressure medication in the morning the rest I take at night. That has helped immensely! Brilinta is the newest and I am sure it is wonderful. I have not taken any medication that has not had a longitudinal study of its effects for me to read. That is a personal preference based on other experience. I am a retired Special Ed teacher who had students on many meds. I like it proven over time!


  • Giuliana
    Giuliana, June 22,  2019  6:30pm EST

    I agree with you completely.   I would of preferred the Plavix but unfortunately the doctors feel in my case Brilinta is the choice for me.   Is it better?   Honestly I don’t think they even know.   Since i’m Okay on it i’ll Stay on it.   I honestly can’t wait to get off any blood thinner.   At one point I was on Brilinta, .81 aspirin and Eliquis for the DVT.   I was one big bruise.   Feel so much better since they stopped the Eliquis    

    It really is stressful working through these meds.   


  • Mb120918
    Mb120918, June 22,  2019  6:44pm EST

    Be cautious here.  I don't take brilinta anymore because I couldn't breathe.  But, because I had stents that are coated with medicine (I think they are called sapphire) my cardiologist was satisfied that I used the brilinta for a month because it helps to keep the scar tissue from clogging the stent (something to that effect). At that point he said the brilinta did its job and switched me to plasurgel(effiant) because I was having big side effects.  That one is more expensive than plavix. Plavix has been around for a long time.  Hope this helps


  • ThoseEyes
    ThoseEyes, June 22,  2019  7:41pm EST

    I saw my brand new (to me) PCP for the first time a week after discharge and he was the first one to suggest the change after a month (but then he was the one who ordered another 90 days!). When I saw the cardiologist two weeks after that, I didn't think to mention it and it didn't occur to me until I got the note from Humana.

    I don't know how typical this is, but I walked in while having an MI, got sent to the cath lab and the cardiologist who was there put in the stent. I'll probably never see him again. My discharge orders were written by a hospitalist, I probably won't see her again either. That's all why I think it was merely hospital protocol and therefore subject to change by the following doctor(s).

    I'm guessing that I wouldn't be the first person to ask and he probably has an opinion he'd be happy to share.

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