November 14, 2008

A new study suggests that Nexium and other heartburn medications may keep the blood-thinner Plavix from working effectively. Consequently, mixing the two drugs may significantly increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The study, conducted by Medco Health Solutions, followed 16,690 people and found the risk of heart attack or other cardiac trouble to be 50 percent higher in patients taking some combination of Plavix and a heartburn medicine than in those taking Plavix alone. Two additional studies conducted within the past year found similar problems.

Plavix, also known as clopidogrel, is commonly prescribed to patients with artery-opening stents or those who have had a heart attack or stroke. Co-marketed by Sanofi-Aventis SA and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Plavix has been on the market since 1997. Nearly half the patients on Plavix also take Nexium, Prilosec or a similar heartburn drug in the class known as proton-pump inhibitors to prevent stomach bleeding and ulcers, common Plavix side effects.

The Medco Health Solutions study, combined with the two similar studies published in the last year, might solve a mystery that has puzzled doctors for several years now. In a 2003 Plavix study, Paul Gurbel, a cardiologist at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, found that close to 30 percent of patients did not process Plavix effectively, but the reasons for that were unclear. Now, doctors believe that proton pump inhibitors, such as Nexium, might interfere with liver enzymes that the body uses to process Plavix, rendering it less effective in some patients.

Still, some drug companies say it is too soon to know whether mixing the medications is dangerous. A spokesperson for AstraZeneca, which makes Nexium, said the company’s own data has not raised any safety concerns with regard to taking Plavix with Nexium. Additionally, spokesperson from Bristol-Myers Squibb said that, while the company would review the data, the study’s retrospective nature makes it less reliable.

Plavix Nexium Side Effect Attorney

If you or a loved one suffered serious side effects after taking a combination of Plavix and Nexium, or some other heartburn medication, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Published November 17, 2011 by