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What is antiplatelet therapy?
Antiplatelets are a group of medicines that stop blood cells, called platelets, from sticking together and forming a blood clot. The two most common medicines we use are clopidogrel and aspirin.
Why do I need these medicines?
We put you on these medicines because you had a stent placed to treat a brain aneurysm or narrowed blood vessels. You need these medicines to prevent clots which could lead to a stroke or cause the device not to work.
You will be at a higher risk for bleeding. You may notice that it takes longer to stop bleeding, that you bruise more easily or have heavier bleeding during your menstrual cycle.
If you have bleeding that you cannot stop or notice blood in your stool or urine call your doctor.
You will need to have a PRU or P2Y12 lab test while on clopidogrel. This is to ensure that it is working the way we need it to. Your lab test can only be drawn at certain labs and should be drawn before 1 pm. You may need to travel to a lab that can draw this. On days that we are checking this lab you will not take your clopidogrel until after we tell you it is okay to take it.
You will first need this lab drawn before surgery. The next check will depend on your lab result. If the lab result is not what we want it to be, we will adjust your clopidogrel dose and recheck your lab.
Right after surgery you will need this lab test more often. This lab may be drawn as often as a few times a week to as little as once a month. It will depend on your lab results.
How long am I on these medicines?
You will be on clopidogrel for about 6 months. You will be on aspirin for the rest of your life. Tell your doctor if you are planning for any procedure or surgery. We cannot take you off aspirin for any amount of time.
Who to Call
608-263-4730 ext. 2
If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.