Health officials said the antacid Prilosec could thwart the effectiveness of a popular blood thinner called Plavix, making patients more vulnerable to having a heart attack or stroke, said a HealthDay article reported by MedicineNet.

The recommendations were based upon studies by Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Meyers Squibb, which manufacture Plavix.
“The results of those studies are to avoid the combination of those two medications,” said Mary Ross Southworth, deputy director for safety with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Products.

Don’t even take the drugs hours apart from each other, she added.

In addition, consumers should not mix Plavix with meds that are similar to Prilosec, such as Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid and Protonix, Southworth said.

But the list of problematic medications doesn’t end there. According to the FDA, other drugs that might interfere with Plavix’s potency include the following meds: Tagamet, Diflucan, Nizoral, Vfend, Felbatol, Prozac, Luvox and Ticlid.

The study also found that people taking the acid reflux drugs Prilosec or Protonix along with blood thinners had a higher risk for death after angioplasty than people who didn’t take either of the two antacids.

In response to the findings, the two drug companies revised Plavix’s label. “We’ve strengthened the label to say that these [heartburn] drugs should be avoided altogether [when using Plavix], not just discouraged,” said Sanofi spokeswoman Noelle Boyd.

Visit the cool tool “Check My Meds” to find out more about how specific drugs interact.