Stopping Clopidogrel: Has anyone here... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

35,218 members22,678 posts

Stopping Clopidogrel

Mollusc profile image

Has anyone here stopped taking Clopidogrel, as my consultant says I don’tneed it and has put me on a statin instead. I have been on it eight months. I have read awful things about people dying within three months of stopping it and that it’s dangerous. Given that it transpires I shouldn’t have been on it ,it was a GP error, what can I do as I am worrying myself sick. Thanks

61 Replies

My experience was that after suffering a heart attack there is a certain routinely prescribed medication regime that I have been told is for life!? This is only what I have been told by my cardiologist and GP. You may be different. I take clopidogrel, aspirin, bisoprolol and atorvastatin. I have been told that the clopidogrel is one of the more important ones as it can help a blood clot forming. Perhaps seek a second opinion from a GP as to why you were put on them in the first place? just keep yourself right. Good luck

Mollusc profile image
Mollusc in reply to momander

I was misdiagnosed as having had a heart attack, I had to wait months for tests which showed I had minimal furring in one artery and doctor says I Don’t need Clopidogrel any more just a statin, as my cholesterol is 5.7 ,but I am afraid to stop it abruptly, however I only have a few left and doctor won’t give me more so I have no choice.

ronnyharry profile image
ronnyharry in reply to Mollusc

You can get your cholesterol down to about 3.8 with any luck by changing your diet and other life style changes, I can make some suggestions if you are interested, regards Ron

I was on clopidogrel for two years and was taken off it suddenly.I was told although I stopped it suddenly, the effects wear off naturally over time. I do not know how much time!

I was meant to be on clopidogrel for 12 months after my stent, but weaned myself off it after 6 months over the period of a month, that was approximately October 2020. I am still on low dose aspirin for now.

Mollusc profile image
Mollusc in reply to

I can’t wean myself off ,as I only have four left and have just been told I won’t be given more. Terrified to stop these abruptly.

in reply to Mollusc

I don't think clopidogrel is one of the medications known to have rebound effects so I'd try not to worry.

Mollusc profile image
Mollusc in reply to


in reply to Mollusc

Just to add, the reason I came off them slowly wasn't fear of rebound but that I was taking a risk because I was meant to still be on them.

simonhall9 profile image
simonhall9 in reply to Mollusc

my cardiologist stopped me taking this as i had a combination of clopidogrel and asprin i stopped it immediately but continued with aspirin no side effects as its a anticoagulant i was taking it due to a stent i had.

Papou1 profile image
Papou1 in reply to simonhall9

Hi,I have been on Clopidogrel 75mg Bisoprolol 2.5 and Aspirin 75mg for 16 months now my GP has taken me off Aspirin because I'm on two much blood thinners.🤔

My doctor stopped the Clopidogrel abruptly after 54 months no reason why, just stopped them, the receptionist said I should have taken them for 12 month only. I had no bad effects from stopping them abruptly, just as well because I haven't been able to see a doctor since the pandemic kicked off. Good luck, take care.


Thongchuay profile image
Thongchuay in reply to Mollusc

After one year I was told to stop taking clopidogrel which I did from one day to the other. The only effect was that may gum bleeding stopped. I'm still on daily aspirin 80mg.

Sizzlerman profile image
Sizzlerman in reply to Mollusc

I had two stents fitted just over a year ago (Nov 2020) and my doctor took me off Clodiprogrel. It did state on my discharge form that all the drugs I was taken were for twelve months although Aspirin was for life. My Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse said due to narrowing of the arteries all the drugs I am having are for life, they are not for now but later on in life. However my doctor did say that the Clodiprogrel I was taking is basically to prevent the stents from getting clogged, and this would normally happen, if it was going to happen, in about the first three-4 months. The usual procedure I have been told from doctors and people on this site is twelve months then you stop taking them. I have stopped taking them now for a month and I feel fine still take all the other medication Lansaprozole,Aspirin, Ososobide Mononitrate, Bisoprolol, Losartin and Rovastatin but no more anticoagulant. Hope this helps.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Mollusc

Absolutely no problem stopping right away.

momander profile image
momander in reply to

Hi,Im wondering why only 12 months? Ive been told im on clopidogrel for life. Also, why did you decide to wean yourself off it? were you having bad side effects?

in reply to momander

I think 12 months is the guideline in the UK following a stent. I weaned myself off them because they were contributing to some terrible side effects I was having (primarily gastrointestinal and neurological).

Mollusc profile image
Mollusc in reply to

I’ve had no side effects whatsoever and have felt a bit comforted that with furry arteries I have some protection, but my consultant says otherwise ,so there’s nothing I can do.

momander profile image
momander in reply to

Hi,That sound like a horrible experience for you, I hope you are feeling better now. Medications are so strange, as one person may be ok with a drug, but the next person may have the most awful side effects. My GP has told me im on them for life so I'm going on her advice.

in reply to momander

It has been an uphill struggle and it's a problem I have to manage, but I'm doing okay. My bio gives an outline of my journey.

Collie7 profile image
Collie7 in reply to

Yip 12 months after stent and it was stopped. I was told that would happen the day I started them

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to momander

I think 12 months is recommended but there are always exceptions. I was put on them after having a stroke post angiogram, I remained on them even after my bypass in 2017. In October last year I had 2 new stents and was taken off Clopidogrel and put on an another thinner plus aspirin. my prescription has a note that in October 22 I am to be taken off the new thinner and the aspirin and to go back onto the Clopidogrel.

I was told, when I left hospital (July 2020) following my Triple Bypass, that I should take ticagrelor for 1 year, this was switched to clopidogrel due to issues I had with ticagrelor.

On the anniversary of my discharge from hospital I stopped taking the clopidogrel and had no issues. Shortly afterwards my cardiologist took me off bisaprolol and reduce my statins by 50%. I was told to stop rather than reduce over time and I had no issues.

It’s standard procedure to come off it after 1 year following insertion of a stent. I came off it back in October. Didn’t really feel any different. I have been on a statin since the heart attack. Hope this helps. If in doubt ask your consultant

After STEMI HA and blood clot in stent they inserted I was put on all the usual meds including tricagrelor but this was changed to Clopidogrel by cardio team and I was told I’d only take them for about one year. I stopped them in November with no issues. I am still on the lifelong aspirin as well as a host of other meds but Bisoprolol and Atorvastatin stopped early on and not replaced as they were causing more issues apparently even though I didn’t notice. 14 months on from HA still trying to get meds right. But definitely no problems coming off clopidogrel and I was pleased to jane one less tablet to take to be honest. Don’t worry it’s pretty standard practice with this Med.

I was prescribed this for 12 months following H.A. then it was no longer necessary. I think that is the usual protocol.

I was on aspirin and clopidogrel (no procedure other than medication after nstemi), I found I was bruising a lot (looked like I was being abused). Cardiologist said the jury was out as to whether I needed both so we agreed I drop the clopidogrel and did so immediately. No adverse effects for me and bonus is bruising is back to normal now.

I also took Clopidogrel for a year after a double bypass. I only ever expected to take it for a year, because I was told that was standard, and my GP duly stopped prescribing it after that time. No issues or side effects.

I came off it a year after my last stents were implanted. I didn't notice a thing and that was August last year. I'm still around, getting good grades.

I was put on Ticegrelor for 1 year after having a stent fitted. Stopped them about 3 weeks ago and didn’t realise how much they affected my fitness. I now seem to be much less breathless and can now walk up hills without struggling so much. My Bisoprolol was stopped 4 months ago after speaking to the consultant as my heart rate was in the low to mid 40’s and felt exhausted. It’s now only low to mid 50’s. Onwards and upwards.

I had a stent in October 2021, my cardiologist has put me on Clopidogrel for 6 months and said that is normal protocol but you are all advising 12 months? I didn't have a heart attack, a blockage was found after investigations into chest pain. I'm also on aspirin (for life) and atorvastatin. I've also now been put on bisoprolol as after the stent I had palpitations and lightheadedness. I now feel very lethargic.

I was worried about coming off my blood thinner. There are so many stories on social media, so much false news. Needless to say I was and am fine. No problems at all. If you don't need them don't take them. Concentrate on living your life to the full x

It's OK to stop suddenly if a doctor advises you to, and if you DID NOT have a heart attack then the risk of dying from a clot are minimal.

Poor diagnosis from the medical team who put you on it! You must have been unnecessarily worried these past few months, being told you've had a HA has quite an impact mentally! Have these consultations been with a cardiologist or a GP?

Mollusc profile image
Mollusc in reply to Genesini

GP initially who based their diagnosis on a comparison between two ECG’s , she rang me and told me on the phone, it was dreadful.waited months for CT and echo.Consultants gave me two conflicting reports too, still not sorted out eight months later, they’ve all made me more ill with worry.

Genesini profile image
Genesini in reply to Mollusc

I can fully understand that, being told on the phone must have been shocking for you. Not sure of your age, but one furry artery is not a bad diagnosis with modern day medications, so please try not to worry too much, and hopefully the advice and comments here have helped alevaite your fears, and given you some direction as to how to proceed?

Mollusc profile image
Mollusc in reply to Genesini

I am 63, healthy diet ,don’t drink or smoke due to Dad dying young and his mother, both of heart disease, always been aware to try and live a healthy lifestyle.

I am in the same position. Prescribed clopidogral and asprin as dual therepy after heart attack and 4 stents 18 months ago. Managed to cling on to them so far but now being told to stop them. Doesn't help when one dr says stay on them and another says stop. You could look up nice guidelines which again is a bit non specific . It is a worry I agree.

I was also told 12 months following my STEMI and just 1 stent.However because of a previous pulmonary embolism, and a TIA, it was decided as my blood was "clotty" they would keep me on dual antiplatelet. As you have 4 stents I would have thought it preventary to keep you on a higher lever of anti clotting medication (especially if you are low risk of internal bleeding). I would encourage you to ask a cardiologist to clarify their reasoning? I have now been swapped to a new anticoag (blood thinner) called Rivaroxaban in place of Asprin & Clopidogrel having been on dual antiplatelet therapy since my MI back in 2013

I stopped taking it a year after my stents as advised by the cardiologist. The only side affect was a good one….my skin stopped bruising. I still take a low dose aspirin and statins.

Mollusc profile image
Mollusc in reply to tavel

How much aspirin is a low dose? I am thinking of asking GP about aspirin as one of the consultants wanted me on aspirin and statin, whereas the other one doesn’t.

tavel profile image
tavel in reply to Mollusc

75mg a day.

Mollusc profile image
Mollusc in reply to tavel


Genesini profile image
Genesini in reply to Mollusc

Low dose is 75mg, and you can buy it very cheaply from any discount store or supermarket (on prescription it costs the NHS loads more than buying it!). Providing you don't already have any stomach disorders or are at a high risk of bleeding, you should be OK, especially as one doctor has already made the suggestion. Funny I was going to suggest asprin to you in my previous message but would have had to ask you to sign a disclaimer!

I was also prescribed Clopidogrel. It is a blood thinner and was prescribed in addition to 75mg of aspirin. I also had lansopradole, which I believe controls stomach acidity because the Clopigogrel adds to stomach acidity (or something like that).

I had a stent installed and was told I needed to take it for a year. My reading of that was that the extra blood thinning was needed until the heart had sufficient time to recover and the stent had fully bedded in.

There was no formal recheck of this, but at the end of the year the GP noticed that the Clopidogrel was supposed to be stopped after a year and removed it from my prescription. I did expect that, and when it happened I stopped it and also stopped the Lansapradole. So far everything is fine.

The statin has a different purpose. It is to control chloresterol. The drugs you are being put on make sense to me. Statins are (apparently) a very cheap drug and hence doctors recommend you taking it as soon as chloresterol levels get a bit high. However, I am not a doctor so you do need to make sure that you have the situation explained properly. In the meantime, if they have taken them off you, I imagine it is for a good reason.

Keep well.

I had four stents fitted 8 months ago, Cardiologist review by phone, told me to stop Clopidogrel but stay on Aspirin, that was 1 month ago! I’ve been fine, haven’t noticed any difference. I’m sure you’ll be fine, Try not to worry.

Wow, this shows what a plethora of opinions there are out there. Not just doctors but we patients, too. Here's my experience for what it's worth. I was put on clopidogrel immediately after my stent procedure 3.5 years ago. I was told this was for 12 months to assist with the settling in of the stent. I also took aspirin, 40mg atorvastatin and ramipril. Dropped the ramipril after 1 month as didn't agree with me.

After 12 months I saw my cardiologist who told me that clopidogrel was a better choice than aspirin and so I should keep taking it instead of aspirin. I continued taking it until I started also taking esomeprazole for stomach/digestion issues about 2 years ago (there can be interactions between esomeprazole and clopidogrel, apparently). At this point I switched back to aspirin. Last week I saw my cardiologist again and he suggested I go back on the clopidogrel rather than continue with the aspirin as it is better at the job in hand and milder on the gut. I have come off the esomeprazole just in case - been meaning to stop it for months.

The impression I get is that clopidogrel is better but more expensive than aspirin and so the doctors tend to stick with aspirin. I'm not sure there's a clinical need to take it in conjunction with aspirin longer than 12 months after heart operation/procedures but there may well be cases in which it is sensible to do so.

I hope this helps.

I will be stopping Clopidogrel this week but changing to an anticoagulant instead. Maybe you will be given low dose aspirin or something I’d the medics feel you needs something like that. Personally, a I can’t wait to stop taking it and I will be able to say goodbye to all the horrendous bruising! As you are in the system, I am sure you will now be on the most effective cocktail of drugs that are appropriate for your condition, so don’t worry.

I suggest you read:

Personal experience is not good enough when making decisions.

HOST-EXAM (EXtended Antiplatelet Monotherapy), enrolled 5,436 patients who had received a coronary stent.

I was on clopidogrel for a year following 3 stents being fitted. Had no side effects from them and at the end of the year they were just stopped. Also had no side effects from stopping them.Was on the 75 mg aspirin before the stents so I’m still on that. Also on meds for high blood pressure and statins and have not noticed any side effects from those at all even when changing form one to the other.

Hopefully you won’t notice a thing when you stop the clop….😀😀

It's given to every one after a heart attack. MIne was stopped after 6 months because it was killing my stomach. Most people stop after 12 months. It's usually stopped immediately, not reduced. Never heard of anyone having problems. I suggest you stop googling or you'll scare yourself to death. There's a massive amount of absolute rubbish on google. Stick to reliable websites like the NHS of BHF.

Hi there. I can understand why you’re concerned so I suggest you have a long chat with GP or consultant and have the reasoning behind their decision explained to you better. No harm in asking. I had HA in August 2020 and was on blood thinner intravenously. I’m allergic to Aspirin so they put me on clopidogrel 75mg for life. Several attempts with different statins was a nightmare as it was pretty obvious my body just wouldn’t tolerate statins of any kind. I’m now on a fortnightly Praluent injection for HF cholesterol ( genetically inherited cholesterol) and my one Clopidogrel tablet. I wouldn’t worry too much coming off it and as others have said perhaps GP may suggest Aspirin if he thinks you need something.

Hi there much useful info has been posted here and unless your doctor or consultant has a heart condition you should get more from the experiences mentioned here.. Clopidogrel plus aspirin is good after stenting but coming off it can cause a rebound and the unlucky few will not be commenting here..I was worried like you .. but it sounds from your comparatively healthy disposition that you need not worry .. I came off it. a year after a stent in my RCA then six months later needed another stent in my LAD.. whether it was stopping the antiplatelet med Clopidogrel or not who knows.. two years later I am still on it bruises and all but plan to carry on now as I eat all sorts of unhealthy food and enjoy life to the full.. at 75 my expectations are lower than stick with the aspirin and if you can eat mainly healthy food exercise moderately get proper sleep and avoid stress.. you could have another twenty five happy years ahead..very best wishes with your research

Thanks to everyone for your input , very useful. I spoke to my GP at length today and he has confirmed he won’t be giving me any more Clopidogrel and no aspirin . He has put me on Atoravastatin and keeping me on bisoprolol as my BP was a bit high previously. Still worried, but have no choice now.

Anyway thanks again.

I was on Clopidogrel 12 years after Tia But ! Came off them 14 months ago

Was due to have Gall bladder out last Feb

Had trouble wouldn’t stop bleeding

So glad I came off like you I was bag of nerves

But had felt rough . Bpwas riding high in the night - changed Ramipril to evening

Tried calcium Antagonists . But my body doesn’t like . Reacts . Tried various other tabs

Have few health problems .

But ! Drink lemon Ginger tea . Did have hibiscus . . ( you have watch with different meds

My cholesterol quite high . They said at hospital within 5 years . Heading H/A stroke .

My bp ok at mo.

Asthma, diabetes ok .

Few other troubles Diverticulitus had on off last few months . Had colonoscopy .

But I’m walking. With ( back leg issues just done 4.5 miles . . Just have watch what I eat

Dad had heart troubles (C-A . ) didn’t survive .

So I’m wary . . One Dr asked why i was on Clopidogrel . Then another said carry on with it .

Good Luck . I did every other day for a couple weeks . .

Ps drink loads water helps keep the blood flowing .

Volunteered to try Clop..... Found faults with it, completed trial but decided not to continue with it. Was a patient (TIA) at Stroke clinic Aintree hospital Liverpool.

I was put on Clopidogrel instead of Aspirin, as I have Hiatus Hernia Acid Reflux, Recently I was advised to stop Esomeprazole recently with a reason that Clopidogrel is less effective taking it with Esomeprazole, as per new research, therefore My PPI medication Esomeprazole was replaced with Lansaprozale

Post bypass I was on Clopidogrel and aspirin. I had some alergy to aspirin but was also concerned about bleeding associated with aspitin. Knowing what I do about statins and having been on clopidogrel for more than two years I would say stick with the Clopidogrel. Research it to make your own case. BTW I never took any other meds post bypass. Agree also with momander's comment.

Good morning, I was prescribed Clopidogrel for 14 months. I noticed that on my discharge letter it said to stop after 12 months so I informed GP and it was. Initially I was px this with aspirin and apixoban. Aspirin was stopped after 2 months. I should stay on apixoban for life. I have felt a lot more tired since coming off it and my sleep pattern is dreadful I don't know it this is anything to do with this or my overall condition. Hope you all keep well.

As others have said. On Clopidogrel for one year following stent. Stopped with no issues. Still on aspirin and statin. Have since had CABG. Still alive. Wouldn't worry.

I came off Clopidogrel about six months ago after being on it for 15 months. I had no problems at all so I wouldn’t worry. My understanding is that, generally speaking, people are only put on it for a year or so.

You may also like...