Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medication conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.
Blood cell problems: A small percentage of people taking ticlopidine develop neutropenia (a lowering of white blood cells that fight infection in the body). Severe neutropenia occurs during the first 3 to 12 weeks of therapy and may develop quickly over a few days. The condition may be life-threatening. It is usually reversible; recovery usually occurs within 1 to 3 weeks after stopping the medication, but may take longer on occasion.
Thrombocytopenia (severe lowering of the platelets that help to clot the blood) is a rare but serious side effect caused by ticlopidine. Thrombocytopenia occurs during the first 3 to 12 weeks of therapy, and recovery usually occurs after the medication is stopped.
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura is a rare condition that may occur while taking ticlopidine and requires immediate medical attention. Signs include thrombocytopenia (unusual bruising or bleeding, gums that bleed more easily), confusion, becoming easily tired, a rapid heartbeat, purplish spots in the skin, and fever.
All people taking ticlopidine need to have lab tests done every 2 weeks, beginning prior to the time you start the medication, until the end of the third month of treatment. This is to make sure no blood cell problems (such as those described above) occur. Your doctor will monitor your lab results regularly, so it is important to get your blood tests done as recommended by your doctor.
Blood clotting: If you take ticlopidine, you may bleed for a longer period of time, or your blood may require more time to clot. Report any signs of unexpected or excessive bleeding (e.g., nosebleeds, excessive bruising, black tarry stools) to your doctor. Other medications (e.g., ASA, warfarin) can increase the risk of longer blood clotting time, so let your doctor know of all medications you are taking.
Kidney function: If you have severely reduced kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: People with severely reduced liver function should not take this medication. If you have reduced liver function, you should discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Surgery: It may be necessary to stop this medication temporarily if you are scheduled for surgery or are having teeth removed to ensure that you do not lose too much blood. It is important to inform all doctors involved in your care, that you are taking this medication.
Pregnancy: The medication should not be used during pregnancy. Your doctor should perform a pregnancy test before you start this medication. While using this medication, you should consider using more than one form of contraception. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if ticlopidine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking ticlopidine, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of taking this medication have not been established for children.