Taking Plavix With Aspirin Is a Deadly Combination

If your doctor has prescribed taking Plavix along with an aspirin a day to reduce your risk of a stroke or heart attack, forget it. That Plavix-aspirin combination almost doubled the mortality risks of patients who had diabetes and high blood pressure but had not suffered a heart attack, according to a new study of some 15,000 patients.

Adding Plavix was generally no more effective than taking an aspirin, a result that surprised researchers. No doubt, it shocked drugmakers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis too: American physicians wrote 24 million prescriptions for Plavix alone last year.

Researchers should've expected these kinds of health-harming results, considering Plavix elevated a patient's risk of developing ulcers by a factor of 12 versus aspirin and Nexium. Just remember, aspirin isn't a safe, cure-all drug either and, according to one Harvard pharmacist, probably wouldn't have been approved by the FDA for over-the-counter use had it debuted today.

Your best alternatives to taking a drug to protect your heart:

New England Journal of Medicine March 12, 2006

USA Today March 13, 2006