I’m going to give you some information that America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not given American patients as yet, according to the authors of Best Pills/Worst Pills Newsletter. This is an issue I can totally relate to regarding drugs and interactions and contraindications. The article appeared in the January 2016 issue of Worst Pills/Best Pills, a public citizen newsletter regarding various drugs.
The Canadian counterpart of the FDA did something that none of the American agencies have done, according to WP/BP. It seems that back in July of 2015, Health Canada issued a serious warning about mixing certain drugs. Health Canada warned of the risk of extremely dangerously low levels of blood sugar when repaglinide and clopidogrel are taken together.
Repaglinide (PRANDIN) is a drug for Type 2 diabetes and Clopidogrel (PLAVIX) is a drug to prevent blood clots. They additionally listed PRANDIMET, (another combination drug for type 2 diabetes) also containing METFORMIN, as causing the serious drop in blood sugar. Dangerously low so as to lead to death or coma. So far, according to the publication, the FDA has not warned the American public of this danger.
One of our experiences with drug interactions occurred when my husband was given Plavix after his stroke in 2002. Plavix was to prevent blood clots. Because doctors had given him too much Coumadin and other anticoagulants, he ended up with a bleeding ulcer and other internal bleeding.
Because of his bleeding ulcer, (that he never had prior to the overuse of blood thinners), he was also prescribed a proton pump inhibitor (PPI’s) such as Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium and other acid preventing drugs.
But, in a shocking turn, he was rushed to the hospital, at which point he was found to have two blood clots in the lungs. They called them “saddle” blood clots (embolism) because they appeared as a saddle on the X-rays. It’s rare to survive such conditions. But, how could he have sustained blood clots when he had been taking Plavix?
Well, turns out proton pump inhibitors completely obliterate the anti-blood-clotting function of Plavix. No one had been aware of the fact that these drugs could not be taken together. It was only after people like my husband showed up with blood clots that it was finally realized the two drugs didn’t mix.
This is the reason the authors of Worst Pills/Best Pills suggest we never try new drugs. Unless there is absolutely no alternative and the condition is so serious, that there is no hope otherwise, we really should stand back and allow the drugs to be on the market at least five to seven years before tying them. Basically, the problems with new drugs aren’t seen until after they’ve been on the market for a while. You might want to ask your physician about the warning the Canadian government is giving to their citizens if you are on Plavix or one of the type 2 diabetes drugs to assure you have no dangerous drops in blood pressure.
Dee Woods can be reached at deewoods10Aiclouc.com