Compare Plavix vs. Coumadin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Plavix
(Clopidogrel)

Coumadin
(Warfarin)

Prevents blood clots. Plavix (Clopidogrel) works well to prevent blood clots and heart complications, but watch out for drug interactions.Prevents blood clots. Coumadin (Warfarin) is an old, cheap, and effective medicine to prevent blood clots, but it requires some monitoring, dose adjustments, and even lifestyle changes.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.002949852507375Plavix
Reviews for Plavix (Clopidogrel)
59%
of people say Plavix (Clopidogrel) is worth it
49%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Coumadin (Warfarin)
61%
+2% vs. Plavix (Clopidogrel)
54%
+5% vs. Plavix (Clopidogrel)
21%
5% vs. Plavix (Clopidogrel)
Side effects
PlavixCoumadin
  • Minor bleeding 3%
  • Major bleeding 1%
  • Any noncerebral bleeding 1%
More Plavix side effects »

The Coumadin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Coumadin side effects »
How it works
PlavixCoumadin
Plavix (Clopidogrel) is an antiplatelet blood thinner. It prevents blood platelets from working, which makes it harder for your body to form blood clots.Coumadin (Warfarin) is an anticoagulant blood thinner. It lowers chemicals called clotting factors so that it's harder for your body to form blood clots.
Type of medication
PlavixCoumadin
Anticoagulant
Anti-platelet
Prescription only
Anticoagulant
Vitamin K antagonist
Prescription only
Available as
PlavixCoumadin
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
PlavixCoumadin
Risk factors for serious side effects
PlavixCoumadin
  • Genetic variation (CYP2C19 poor metabolizer)
  • Drug-interactions
  • Age greater than 65
  • History of gastrointestinal bleeding
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver problems
  • Drug interactions
  • Certain genetic disposition
    Detailed Plavix (Clopidogrel) risks & warnings »
    • Dose too high
    • Age greater than 65
    • History of gastrointestinal bleeding
    • High blood pressure
    • Kidney or liver problems
    • Drug interactions
    • Change in lifestyle or diet
    • Illnesses
    • Alcohol
    • Certain genetic makeup
      • Women of childbearing age
      Detailed Coumadin (Warfarin) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      PlavixCoumadin
      BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

      Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

      See the FDA package insert
      XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

      Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      • Many lifestyle factors can affect how well warfarin works, such as diet, alcohol, and activity level, so it's important that you try to stay consistent with your behaviors.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.
      • Eat foods containing consistent amounts of Vitamin K.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      PlavixCoumadin
      • Thins your blood to protect your heart after a heart attack or after a procedure on your heart.
      • Studies have shown clopidogrel lowers your risk of death or further heart complications.
      • Oral blood-thinning medicine that prevents blood clots from forming or getting bigger.
      • Prevents complications of blood clots that can cause extreme discomfort or death. Examples include stroke (blood clots in the brain), pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs causing trouble breathing), or deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs causing pain and blood vessel damage).
      • Has an antidote, Vitamin K, in case of a major accidental bleeding.
      • Coumadin (Warfarin) has been around for a long time, so we know a lot about how well it works and what the risks are.
      • It's dirt cheap.
      Downsides and risks
      PlavixCoumadin
      • Doesn't work well for people with certain genetic variations.
      • Raises your risk of bleeding and bruising.
      • Lots of interactions with other drugs or supplements. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new meds.
      • Requires routine blood testing (called an INR) to see how well the medicine is working for you and to make the dose just right for you.
      • Many lifestyle factors can affect how well warfarin works, such as diet, alcohol, and activity level, so it's important that you try to stay consistent with your behaviors.
      • Raises your risk of bleeding and bruising.
      • Lots of interactions with other drugs or supplements. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new meds.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      PlavixCoumadin
      • Let your doctor know about any fever, weakness, or unusual bleeding or bruising.
      • Thins your blood to prevent clots from forming or getting bigger. Doesn't break up existing clots.
      • Can raise your risk of bleeding or bruising.
      • Take it exactly as instructed.
      • Interacts with a lot of medicines and supplements. Don't start any new meds without talking to your doctor.
      • The amount you need depends on your diet, other medical problems, and genes.
      • Requires regular blood tests to get your dose right.
      • Eat foods containing consistent amounts of Vitamin K.
      • Tell your doctor immediately if you fell or if you have unusual bleeding, bruising, swelling, or changes in vision and coordination.
      • Get a medical bracelet so that people know you're on a blood thinner during an emergency situation.
      • Thins your blood to prevent clots from forming or getting bigger. Doesn't break up existing clots.
      • Take it exactly as instructed.
      • Can raise your risk of bleeding or bruising.
      • Interacts with a lot of medicines and supplements. Don't start any new meds without talking to your doctor.
      Learn more
      More about PlavixSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about CoumadinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert