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What Factors Affect a Sufficient Clopidogrel Dose?

By Lee Johnson
Updated Feb 04, 2024
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A sufficient clopidogrel dose is affected by the condition that the drug is being used to treat and the age of the patient who is being treated. The most common dosage of the drug is 75 milligrams per day, administered in a single dose that can be taken with or without food. This dosage is recommended for ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction. When taken for acute coronary syndrome, a loading dose of 300 milligrams should be administered initially, followed each day by the standard 75-milligram dose. For children who are taking the treatment for platelet aggregation inhibition, a clopidogrel dose of 0.2 milligrams per 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of weight is recommended.

Clopidogrel is a drug that is primarily used for the prevention of heart attacks and strokes but also can be used to prevent blood clots after some procedures. The drug’s primary action is to block platelets in the blood, which are responsible for blood clotting. In some conditions and after certain operations such as cardiac stent and balloon angioplasty, blood clots can be particularly harmful to the patient. Blood clots ordinarily are only formed to prevent excessive bleeding after an injury, but if they form within the vein or artery, blockages and other medical problems can result.

For most patients who are taking clopidogrel, the usual 75-milligram dosage per day is suitable. Conditions such as ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction require this clopidogrel dose. Patients generally will take aspirin — another drug that has anti-clotting properties — along with clopidogrel for these conditions. Some studies have suggested that the dosage should be determined by the weight of the patient being treated, but these adjustments should be made only if suggested by a doctor. The drug can be taken with or without food.

Patients who have acute coronary syndrome require an initial loading clopidogrel dose before reverting to the ordinary dosage. A loading dose is a larger initial dose to prepare the body for continued treatment. This dosage should be 300 milligrams in patients who have acute coronary syndrome, after which ordinary dosage should resume. Acute coronary syndrome generally also requires supplementary treatment with aspirin.

Children might require the drug for platelet aggregation inhibition, and the recommended dosage for them is based on their weight. For children who are 2 years old or younger, a clopidogrel dose of 0.2 milligrams per 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of weight is advised to achieve the same effects that the adult treatment provides. A recommended dose has not been established for children who are older than 2, but some practitioners use a daily dosage of 1 milligram per 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of weight.

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