blood thinners

I had 2 stents put in in 2005, I never took any blood thinners, I had another stent put in april 3 the doctors would not believe i was never on blood thinners because my two previous drug eluded stents looked perfect. I have found another person who also does not take any blood thinners and she has 3 drug eluded stents 7 years ago and hers are fine as well. I did alot of research and I think this plavix thing is being pushed by drug companies into drs heads. there are serious side effects coming off plavix as well, so has anyone else has success without these drugs.

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As a critical care nurse, I've seen some tragic cases of people having strokes or occluded stents after stopping antiplatelet therapy against medical advice. I've also talked to some people here who were unable to stay on antiplatelet therapy due to complications who did ok. The evidence is good that antiplatelet therapy helps more people than it hurts. I really don't think it's a drug company conspiracy. But everyone has to make their own decisions about their health. Just make sure you are aware of the possible consequences.

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my stents were put in in 2005 and i just had angio they a all clear. another woman had 3 put in 03 and took nothing but aspirn and hers are all clear these are drug eluted stents

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my thought is maybe if you never start on blood thinners your just as safe but once you take them your body requires them, i do not know but i am once again opting not to take them and just go with asprin

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wnekj, that is not correct regarding never starting antiplatelet meds vs using them then stopping. You do not clot more than usual after discontinuing antiplatelet medication. The way my cardiologist put it when discussing a second year of antiplatelet therapy (in this case Plavix) was to compare the relative cost to me of paying for the medication or the small chance of occluding the stent and having another heart attack. Everyone has to judge the odds for themselves. I decided the small amount of improved odds was worth $30/month (my copay) for me even though I am extremely poor since I had to stop working.

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I will be on Plavix a year come 2nd August 2012, my cardiologist told me when I had 3 drug eluting stents in my Lad that I would come off it after one year. I did not have a heart attack just a blockage. My Dad had 2 heart attacks and he died with the 2nd one. My brother had a very bad heart attack and had 1 stent put in. He was on Plavix for 6 months and then taken off it, exactly 1 week after stopping Plavix he suffered another heart attack, he had to be shocked numerous times, an hour later he took a 3rd heart attack and had to be shocked yet again, he almost didn't make it, the only reason he is here today is because he took those 2 heart attacks whilst in the hospital waiting to see his cardiologist for a check up. He had more stents inserted and is now on Plavix for life. I am obviously very concerned about stopping Plavix after my brother's experience, so I went to see my GP a few weeks ago and she has agreed that I too should remain on Plavix for life, even though my cardiologist would like me to come off it in a year. I think it depends a lot on your genes, my GP agreed my family history is not good and her opinion is that I would be better to remain on Plavix, I do feel relieved. My Mother also suffered a massive stroke and was badly affected by it, she never was able to speak again or feed herself or do anything for herself, she lived a very sad life for 2 more years, then died from Septicaemia.

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Every reply I got was from people who started plavix is there anyone who never took it, such as myself, and is fine? I know another women who also chose not to take it and she also is fine after 9 years. It seems to me once you try to come off it people are having heart attacks and problems.

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I don't understand why your doctor would place a stent without prescribing plavix. Especially drug eluding stents. Or did they prescribe them and you refused to take them? Drug eluding stents have always had plavix in the protocol. Initially it was a shorter period. My interventional cardiologist insisted on plavix, he wouldn't even place the stent until I agreed to plavix for one year. You have been fortunate not to have had an event. Playing with a loaded gun there I think. There is a very very tiny risk coming off plavix for the first ninety days, less than one percent, but they don't even know why yet because platelets are brand new every nine days or so, so basically in a ten day period all your platelets are plavix free. So I will come off plavix at one year. I personally do not believe there is any conspiracy, if that was the case, the only people (doctors) who would be benefitting would be American doctors, so why would doctors all over the world be prescribing it? Doctors in my country are not permitted perks from drug companies. So why would there be any reason for them to be brainwashed? Maybe they just do the best they can, and right now, this is the protocol. Plavix one year for DES stents. You will also hear about people who took plavix and had heart attacks while on it. We just do the best we can, and hope for the best while following our doctors advise. You know, the guy/gal who spent a gazillion years in medical school and residency just to learn everything they could to save our lives.........

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I am on Effient after my last re-senting. I was threatened to agree to take it (and the drug eluting stent) or just go home.
I have good days and bad days. I am very careful about what I eat ... and my husband is losing weight and I am gaining ... you know how that goes.

But I don't like being on Effient. I was allergic to Plavix and Awful reaction to Ticlid! I know that I have developed fears - alas, agoraphobia- for fear of a repeat of the past.
I've been on it for over 4 months.

I just pray and try to trust.

God bless you ... I think it is the drug-eluting stents ... is that correct - anyone?

I have the same concerns about the meds as you do ... we just do what we are told to do ... which is, for me, so against my nature :)

God bless and try to trust,
Sharon

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I, too, was put on Plavix (still taking) after my heart attack in Dec. 2011 (age 56). Although I have my fears about side effects, so far I have none.....however, I am insisting on frequent blood tests to check that my organs are working properly, etc. ((read on to hear story of someone who has never taken Plavix).

Right now my biggest issue (there could be others down the line but hopefully not) is that I was supposed to have another colonoscopy this month as I had polyps removed last year and my family has a history of polyps. Because I am on Plavix, I cannot have the procedure until sometime after December when I am supposed to go off Plavix. I hate having to wait and taking a gamble but keeping the faith that nothing has grown or will grow. I plan to have the procedure probably next January.

I also am not sure what my plan is for continuing Plavix after a year's time. I am taking Plavix and baby aspirin. I guess I will make the decision later.

Now for a story about someone who has NEVER taken Plavix and does not intend on doing so: My daughter-in-law's mother is about 7 or 8 years younger than I. About 4 years ago, at the age of 44 {?} she had a heart attack. She had a stent put in (not sure if hers is drug eluting like mine). My blockage was 100% in my RCA; her blockage was 90-95% but not sure where. Anyway, she did not have insurance so could not afford to take any medications. She now has insurance (and has for about 3 yrs) but she still chooses not to take any blood thinners or any other medications (except for her thyroid and depression). Instead she has opted to take COQ10 (for heart) and FISH OIL (for high cholesterol). She is still alive however she does not go to the doctor regularly so she has no idea how she is really doing. She took a gamble and is still living but I do worry about her. I have tried to encourage her to take better care of herself as our children (her daughter and my son) have 3 beautiful babies (ages 3 yrs, 2 yrs, and 9 months).

So there you have it - two choices. Each person does have to way the pros and cons; be educated; ask lots of questions; get lots of testing. Being proactive is your best choice no matter which route you choose.

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Hi all, I to am needing to do a routine colonoscopy and need to have two wisdom teeth removed surgically. How does one deal with the blood thinner issue when you are told you need to be on aspirin and Plavix for life. I had cabgx4 January last year and since have had one bypass fail, a vein based bypass of an old blockage that resulted from an old heart attack 14 years ago, ie. not one of the critical bypasses. All of the other bypasses are clear as are all native arteries. I am on Ranexa as well for intermittent angina at rest, but not during excercise. Is it safe to go off the aspirin and Plavix for these procedures? How long before the procedures would I need to stop the Plavix? Are there alternatives to keep some level of protection until just before the procedures? I have a friend who was put on short acting heparin via self injection until just before a wisdom tooth extraction. Does anyone know anything about this as an approach?

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You would need to discuss your specific needs with your cardiologist. Injecting Lovenox is one option, but most people do not need to do that. The usual recommendation is to stop Plavix 5 days before a procedure, but you would have to discuss that with the oral surgeon and the gastroenterologist as far as what they would want. Some will do these procedures without stopping Plavix but not most. There is an alternative for a screening colonoscopy done with CT. You would not have bleeding risk because no instrumentation is introduced into the colon. The prep is the same. The disadvantage is if polyps are found you would need a second procedure to remove them via standard colonoscopy.

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Thanks Yarn, I did here about the ct option but understand that it also involves a high does of radiation. With all of the radiation I have received over the last years with chest cts, CABG, stress tests involving internal gamma radiation throughout my body from the dyes, Cath procedures, I am very reluctant to take on more radiation from another ct. As a health professional what say you, this risk vs stopping Plavix for someone who has one of four failed bypasses and angina successfully treated with Ranexa?

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I don't know your relative risk. You'd have to discuss that with your doctors.

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Definitely discuss things with all of your doctors. All I can speak from is what has been recommended for me. Last year before my heart attack and stent, I had to have to colonoscopies back to back. The first one was done at a doctor's office (with the proper set up and a gastro doc). She found a polyp she could not remove (did not have all of the necessary equipment) so I had to have another done at the hospital. It was not cancerous but was precancerous and fairly large. I had some difficulty afterwards with extreme pain as it had to be burned out. Because of my own personal history and my family history of colon cancer and polyp I was to have another colonoscopy this month. All of my doctors strongly suggested that I wait until at least Dec. of this year or January since I am on Plavix and aspirin. I am trusting that this is the right decision. From what I had been told and read, I am at greater risk for having it rather than not (as the possibility of me having colon cancer is probably not that great and it is a slow growing cancer if I were to have it). It is a gamble but I believe my decision to wait is right for me.

I am putting off any dental work until next year and hoping I do not need any other surgeries this year.

Again, talk to all of your doctors and make sure you are informed and have all of your questions and concerned answered.

Best of luck to you.

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I'm a 17 year survior of heart disease with 3 heart attacks,x3 CABG and 7 stents. Since 1998 I have been on 3 blood thinners and so far all is well. Each of us that has a condition in our "heart " world experience different situation. Some patients may not need or require blood thinners and others like myself are in a "must have" category.
Too often it's easy to think that the pharmaceutical world and the doctors are scheming to get our money, but I think not. What may work for one person just simply may not work for others. As for me, I'm sticking to the anticoagulants after all, so far so good.
Why rock the boat when all is well. Best wishes for all who are in our special "heart world". Be well.
Hugs,
CJ

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