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Heartburn Drugs May Neutralize Plavix

Armen Hareyan's picture

U.S. health officials are studying reports that the action of the popular blood thinner Plavix can be neutralized by some heartburn medications, the Associated Press reported.

Plavix, used to prevent deadly blood clots, has been prescribed to more than 90 million people worldwide. Because it can upset the stomach, Plavix (generic name clopidogrel) is often prescribed with heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors.

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A few months ago, researchers reported that patients taking Plavix and these heartburn drugs had a significantly increased risk of hospitalization for chest pain, heart attack or stroke. The heartburn drugs may interfere with a liver enzyme need to metabolize Plavix, the researchers suggested.

In a statement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it's important to fully understand the interaction between Plavix and proton pump inhibitors. The FDA also said there's no evidence that another family of heartburn drugs called H2 blockers interfere with Plavix, the AP reported.

For now, patients should continue taking Plavix but doctors should be cautious when prescribing heartburn drugs to patients taking the blood thinner, the FDA said.