Harvard Heart Letter

Yes to heartburn meds plus clopidogrel

There's no definitive proof this combination is dangerous.

If a stent was inserted in your coronary arteries to improve blood flow, you may be taking clopidogrel (Plavix) and aspirin to prevent a blood clot from forming inside the stent. This combination of medications has been shown to reduce the risk of a fatal or nonfatal heart attack. As a result, clopidogrel has become one of most commonly prescribed medications in the United States.

However, both clopidogrel and aspirin can cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In people at increased risk of GI bleeding, this risk can be lowered by using proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) to reduce the production of stomach acid. Millions of people with peptic ulcers and gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) also take these popular drugs, which include omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), dexlansoprazole (Dexilant, Kapidex), and pantoprazole (sold under many names).

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