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EMON1, September 29,  2020  6:37pm EST

Stopping Clopidogrel ???

OK, here we go.I've been on this site quite a while (so my question is a little embarassing) I'll keep my bio short. then ask my question. Nov 2018 I had my 'widowmaker' HA complete with 3 stents. While I have continued all my meds, I kind of had a falling out with my cardiologist a year or so ago and haven't seen him.(Dumb, I'm sure, but I do see my primary often enough) Anyway, my question is this, (and I've done all the 'reading' on it), it's about stopping clopidogrel.

I have DES stents, so I know clopidogrel is a 12 month minimum protocol. After that I've read 18 months to life is sometimes a precaution, but there are no hard rules. I'm coming to the end of my refills, that would be 12months + another 10 months or so. Since there are 'no rules' at this point, I'm a little nervous about dropping one of my 'security blankets'. (Lord knows no one wants another HA!)

So, after all that, I'm asking for those who have been on (or are still) clopidogrel, what your experiences were regarding how long you took it, are you still taking it (for how long), what was stopping it like, etc.

[Thanks ahead of time! One less pill is always a 'good thing' but not at the risk of complications]

Thanks again, Happy Health to All!

10 Replies
  • Mb120918
    Mb120918, September 29,  2020  7:43pm EST

    Hi EMON, nice to hear from you.  My experience was similar to yours. HA dec. 2018, 3 stents, right and back arteries.  Was on brillinta first for 1 month (DES),  effient and aspirin until dec.2019.  Dr. Wanted me to stay on forever.  In Dec 2019 started to bleed uncontrollably in a previous sinus location.  Dr. Took me off of the effient and told me to keep taking aspirin 81mg.  I also take chlorohydrothyazide(diuretic) to control my blood pressure a few times a week.  I can't take statins so I use bergamot, niacin combo.  When I stopped the effient I was scared, mostly because I don't take statins etc... It kind of felt naked for a while.  Right away I felt better.  Recently I spoke to the Dr. About acid reflux.  He said it's the aspirin and wanted me to try to go back to effient instead of aspirin.  He said that they are interchangeable and the blood thinner is safer.   So I tried it and started to get shortness of breath. Now, I am back with the aspirin.  Will you be staying on aspirin? He said aspirin forever.  

    To sum it up, I am scared.  But, there are plenty of people that take all of the meds and still have reoccurring episodes.  It's really hard to figure out because of all of the fake info put out by big pharma and the food industry.   My Dr. Was more comfortable with the decision because I have quit smoking and I continue my exercising.  I have also tried to keep the stress level down. You need to consider the family history, the amount of heart damage etc...  I do try to eat things that thin your blood just as an add on (dandelion greens, escarole etc...). Also, I don't miss the big black and blues.

    Good luck with your decision.  Go with your instinct.  Take care.


    PS-get a new cardiologist


  • EMON1
    EMON1, September 30,  2020  2:21am EST

    Hi Mary,good to hear from you too! And yes, in an unfortunate, but comforting way I've noticed we've shared many similarities in this stupid and often scary odyssey. Maybe because we've been here about the same time and read a lot of each other's posts, as well as many of the other 'oldies' on here, I do HEAR and RESPECT what you're saying.

    [For the good or bad, I haven't had the classic 'bruising' issues and I do seem to tolerate statins (so they have me on the high dose), I do take BP meds and the baby aspirin. I did quit the smokes, like you (congrats, I'm sure you still get the cravings like I do). I'm not in bad shape, but I still haven't got the exercise down like you (congrats,again) Enough 'old times summary']

    Anyway, you do make a good point, that there are no guarantees either way (drats) and much as I loathe pills, (I don't know if it's the same fear with you, but I don't know if the clopidogrel is an unintended protection from coronavirus blood clotting?Wouldn't it be ironic if the covid 19 'cure' was a HA regimen) The promising thing is, I have had SoB issues, maybe thats why?

    Again, so nice to hear from you and many thanks! Happy health!

    P.S.- I'm sure you're right about the cardiologist

  • vancet
    vancet, September 30,  2020  2:33am EST

    Curious about this as well since I'm currently taking it and having discussions with my cardiologist about dropping it in addition to the bisoprolol as I'm nearing 16 months.  

    I already am getting anxiety working out without bisoprolol (my heart goes up way faster compared to before) and removing the anticlot will probably make that anxiety worse. Might just try to keep it for longer since I had no risk factors pre-HA, just in case. 

    All the best EMON1, IMO consulting with a cardiologist before stopping would be a good idea like what Mary mentioned, you should get a new one which is more difficult with this crazy virus going around.  

  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, September 30,  2020  9:13am EST

    Good morning, My two cents is get a new cardiologist or maybe a hematologist, have the bloodwork done to check your D Dimer rates, and then talk about the future. You are doing so much to stay healthy, so these seem like reasonable next steps to me. Thanks Katie

  • Mb120918
    Mb120918, September 30,  2020  10:35am EST

    It's interesting about the HA regimen being used for covid?   I did seek out another cardiologist (internal medicine interventionist, alternative medicine).  He uses conventional medicine and alternatives for people that can't tolerate the "norm".  He conducted a Boston blood test.  Very interesting results.  Found out it is my liver making the cholesterol not the food.  Also, pulls up other markers that the conventional test doesn't.  Try looking it up, the info may help you.  It was covered by medicare. Check first, I think the price is about $800.+ Without insurance.   This cardiologist freaked when he saw that my d levels were very low.  First because of heart health and then because of covid.  They are much higher now and I actually feel better. It is very complicated and not very clear as to what to do.

    You are right about the smoking.  It's been almost 2 years and it is still in the forefront, I guess it will always be. Congrats to you for quitting too!  Not an easy thing to do.

    I also hold you in high regard and respect your opinion and knowledge.  Be careful. Good health to you.


  • EMON1
    EMON1, October 1,  2020  10:58am EST

    Thanks, Vancet, Katie, (and of course Mary). I think I will for now take the 'refill and see the cardiologist' option rather than make changes right now. Basically, 'wimp out' for lack of comparable knowledge. Happy health to all!

  • James231
    James231, October 3,  2020  11:14am EST

    Hi EMON, congrats on approaching (2) years post HA.  I'm only approaching the (3) month mark, but saw my Cardiologist on Monday (Follow-up for a previous nuclear stress test and echocardiogram the week before). I asked him how long will I be on Brilinta and my Beta-Blocker. He informed me (1) year...EXCEPT after (1) year he will switch me from Brilinta (twice a day pill) to a lower dose (once a day pill / Plavix or generic equivilent). And I could be on this regimen for an additional (2) years.  As for the beta-blocker, he said that we will do a re-evaluation after a year.

    I agree with all the others and see a new cardiologist. Get his professional opinion. I posted previously about getting a new Cardiologist, because the 1st one was horrible. After doing some research, I found my new Cardiologist and it's so so much better. Good luck and God Bless....

  • Deb65
    Deb65, October 3,  2020  11:50pm EST

    I had a widow maker at 52. Total blockage 3 stents. Stopped chlopiderol 2 1/2 years out

  • EMON1
    EMON1, October 4,  2020  12:48am EST

    Thank you, James,Deb! The reading I've done has suggested as well, 1yr. + 18 months if tolerated. Deb, I hope to trust all is well since you stopped? Did you noticeably feel better when you stopped? Good health and thanks to all again!


    Edit - Saw NEW cardiologist and he was a bit more approachable! Unfortunately, he thinks the clopidogrel should be taken forever.

  • kmfrem
    kmfrem, October 13,  2020  6:53pm EST


    Just got back from my 2 year visit today. I had my HA in Aug 2018 and ended up getting a stent put in.

    We did go over all the medication and my doctor told me that she typically recommends patients to take brillanta for the first 12 months and then clopidogrel for the next 18 months after the stent procedure. So, i have 6 months to go after which she suggested we stop taking Clopidogrel. She may also get me off Metaprolol and increase my lisinopril a bit.

    The problem I'm having is that my platlet count is not looking too healthy and is decreasing. Anyone had this problem after taking blood thinners?

    Wish you all the best.


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