Friday, October 31, 2014

Monday, September 01, 2008 hogwasher, Community Member, asks

Q: What is the difference between Warfarin and Plavix

Heart Drugs

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Answers (3)
Martin Cane, M.D., Health Pro
9/ 2/08 3:39pm




Thanks for your question.  Both warfarin (Brand name - Coumadin) and Plavix (generic - clopidogrel bisulfate) are considered blood thinners.  But they are very different drugs with different actions.


Warfarin works by counteracting Vitamin K in the plasma of the blood.  Vitamin K is key in the coagulation pathways responsible for the clotting of blood, and with less activity of Vitamin K blood takes longer to clot.  Too little, as well as too much warfarin can be dangerous.  If taking a dose that is ineffective, clot formation is not adequately prevented and the problem you are trying to treat or prevent may very well occur.  Taking too much warfarin raises the risk of bleeding, especially in the gastrointestinal tract and, in the elderly, the brain.  People taking this drug must have their blood monitored to measure the time it takes to clot, which can result in frequent adjustments of their dose.  The use of warfarin is considered "full anticoagulation" and is felt to be more effective (a higher level) than other oral blood thinners.


Plavix is a drug known as an anti-platelet drug.  This drug works on the platelets in the blood stream by causing them to be less "sticky".  When clots form, platelets stick to each other as part of the clotting process.  Other medications in this class of drug are aspirin, persantine and aggrenox.  Unlike warfarin, monitoring blood levels or activity is not necessary.


Different situations require different levels (and types) of anticoagulation.  Each case has its particular circumstances that influence a physician's choice, and in some cases, medications are combined to provide the optimal therapeutic benefit.


I hope this information has been helpful.


Martin Cane, M.D.

77tiger77, Community Member
11/14/10 4:21pm

Thanks for such an informative answer.  It really helped to clear things up.  I'm on coumadin for APS and have always wondered about Plavix.  Now I know.



dorisenow, Community Member
4/26/13 2:40pm

thank you I am on coumadin and wonered many time whether I should change to another drug...this satisfies my curiosity. thank you The computer can be such a devilish toy but it is a god send for information..Laughing

MsMoKelly, Community Member
12/ 9/10 6:14pm

So there are other medications besides Plavix tht she can take. They told me that there was no generic replacement for Plavix and Plavix is not covered under her Insurance everything else is except that could that be due to the ReCall?

dorisenow, Community Member
4/26/13 2:42pm

there is a generic for Coumadin which is Warfarin and for Plavix which is Clopidogrel

worried, Community Member
1/ 6/11 6:36am

Att: Martin Cane, M.D. - Thank you for your reply, it is most helpful.  My mother has just come out of Rehab and they have changed some of her medication. She is 89 years of age, has both lung and heart disease and had pneumonia just recently, luckily she pulled through it. I am most concerned about her 'changed medication' because they have also put her on risperdal tablets to calm her down.  She showed extreme symptoms of 'fear of abandonment' and kept calling my name to the point where it became too much for them (I suppose), and it was decided to give her this medication. Now - because of her heart (failure) problem (atri...bla bla - sorry, I dont have the correct term on hand right now) she also had to take 1 to 2 fluid tablets (Lasix or Frusemide), and also, it helped to void her urine (so I was told). Anyway, when I checked this risperdale on the web, it seemed that she cannot take the fluid tablets with this medication but she needs to take 'fluid tablets' for other reasons - so I am not very happy that they changed her medication without being consulted about it. (I am daughter, carer, p.o.a. holder, and bottle scrubber) She has come home yesterday and it was obvious that she was medicated out of her wits and it wasn't until today lunch time that she finally acted more like herself.  She has not had this risperdale today and am wondering if I can discontinue this medication and put her back on the fluid tablet (at least one a day) without having to put her on some plan to wean her off the risperdale. (I have rung Rehab up to find out when she was put on this medication and they couldn't tell me because the file no longer resides there).  So please, can you help me with some advice?

(my mother is also in a wheel chair and I now use a lifting machine for her and it may be very difficult to take her to her local doctor myself without calling taxis, and taxis cost money)  Your contribution to my concern would be greatly appreciated.  Erika



dorisenow, Community Member
4/26/13 2:55pm

I believe you need to discuss this with the doctor there are plenty of anti anxiety

agents your mother can take without compromising lasix...this is unthinkable...I take an anti anxiety agent which I can take with all my heart seem to do such a good job with your Mom....Smile god bless you

Abbott, Community Member
11/10/12 2:44pm

You never answered the question. You don't know the when or the why, do you? Answer, or get off the platform.  A 1st year med student could answer better than you.  Shape up, ot drop off.

terry926, Community Member
4/23/14 3:50pm

Thank you so much for the information. I have had a stroke at 47yrs. old.I was originally put on Warfarin ith much bleeding and bruising. Then I was switched to Plvix and a aspirin,with alot of bleeding and bruising. I recently had another TIA and am now on Plavix and Warfarinand to my surprise I have no bruising or excessive bleeding. I was shocked but it works for me.


Willie Jo, Community Member
10/24/10 10:58am


MsMoKelly, Community Member
12/ 9/10 6:10pm

What is the difference between Warfin and Plavix. There is a recall on Plavix and Insurance will not cover it. If my Mother takes Warafin does she need to take Plavix? 

edredneck, Community Member
3/19/12 4:51pm

I take Plavix under it's generic name (clopidoperal - or something like that.  The doctor spelled it correctly)  I've never heard of plavix being re-called.  However, Plavix plus, or something like that had aspirin in it and THAT was re-called, I know.  Walmart was charging $175 for 28 pills, and they told me there was no generic may not be in the U.S. but I buy from My last order cost $350 for 390 pills.  Had I bought from Walmart it would have cost $2450 and I saved $2100.  If you ordered from xl it would cost you a little more than what I paid because I'm a long time customer and get shipping from India free 10-15 days later.


GERRY, Community Member
10/ 9/12 4:34pm

Buying Medication like Plavix or any Drugs for the Heart from India Via the Internet is a Very Risky Slow Suicide as you have NO WAY of knowing what they Contain, Saving Money , What about Saving you're LIFE, Get a life and grow up Money is not everything , You're Health is more Important than Money.


dorisenow, Community Member
4/26/13 2:59pm

my husband takes plavix in generic brand which is Clopidogrel insurance pays for it.....he takes if for his new stents in his hear. He has to take it about 6 month and also baby aspirin, by then he don't need the Clopdogrel anymore and takes only the aspirin...

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By hogwasher, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/04/14, First Published: 09/01/08