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News From the Food and Drug Administration
December 15, 2015

No Increased Risk of Death With Clopidogrel

JAMA. 2015;314(23):2497. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.16799

After reviewing several clinical trials, the FDA determined that long-term use of the blood-thinning drug clopidogrel, marketed as Plavix, does not increase or decrease the risk of death in people with or at risk of heart disease. The agency also determined that clopidogrel does not increase the risk of cancer or death from cancer (http://1.usa.gov/1Qvs1dH).

In a recent study including 9961 patients who received a drug-eluting stent, those who took clopidogrel or prasugrel plus aspirin for 30 months had lower rates of myocardial infarction and stent thrombosis but higher death rates, primarily from cancer or trauma, compared with those who took dual antiplatelet therapy for 12 months (Mauri L et al. N Engl J Med. 2014;371[23]:2155-2166).