People who take low-dose aspirin plus clopidogrel (Plavix) to prevent a first heart attack or stroke are 78% more likely to die from cardiovascular causes than people who take aspirin alone. Paradoxically, the aspirin/Plavix combination can help prevent a second heart attack or stroke.

Also: Patients who have had a stent should take the aspirin/Plavix combination.

Self-defense: If you use both drugs, consult your physician about the benefits of continuing. Do not stop either drug on your own.

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