(NaturalNews) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about popular over-the-counter heartburn drugs like Prilosec and Prevacid. When taken in combination with blood-thinning drugs like Plavix, the interaction can diminish the effectiveness of the blood thinner medications by more than half.
Because taking Plavix often causes an upset stomach, it is typically prescribed along with drugs that block stomach acid. Proton pump inhibitor drugs like Nexium and Prilosec that perform the task also block the enzyme needed by the body to break down and process Plavix.
Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb, the marketers of Plavix, have begun including warnings on the product labels about the interaction side effects. The FDA is recommending that people who take Plavix switch to stomach acid blocking drugs in the H-2 blocker family which it claims do not have any known interactions with blood-thinning drugs.
Not only do the drugs interact with one another to diminish potency but they put patients' health at further risk. Last year, it was discovered in a research study that taking Plavix doubles a person's chance of suffering from a heart attack or stroke This is an ironic find when considering the fact that Plavix is commonly prescribed as a preventive drug against strokes and heart attacks.
Plavix has also been found to cause a rare but serious blood-related disease called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). If left untreated, TTP has a 95 percent fatality rate and Plavix is one of only a few drugs known to cause this odd disease.
The risk of developing severe gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers from using Plavix is twelve times higher than in those who take low-dose aspirin instead. Even though aspirin has its own dangers, it is far safer than Plavix and has been shown to be more effective.
Global sales of Plavix top $9 billion, making it the second best-selling drug in the world next to Pfizer's cholesterol drug, Lipitor. Since it is a blockbuster drug that rakes in high profits, it is highly unlikely that it will ever be removed from the market despite the fact that it is ineffective and dangerous.
Nattokinase, an enzyme taken from the vegetable cheese Natto, is a natural alternative to Plavix that works effectively at dissolving blood clots and preventing the accumulation of red blood cells. It also does not increase bleeding time like Plavix does. Serrapeptase is another similar enzyme that performs a similar function and is far preferable to any pharmaceutical drug.