November 17, 2009 / 3:42 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-FDA warns heartburn drugs interfere with Plavix

* Prilosec cuts Plavix effectiveness by nearly half

* FDA: Plavix label will highlight interaction risk (Adds details, background)

WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Common heartburn pills like Prilosec interfere with Sanofi-Aventis SA’s (SASY.PA) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s (BMY.N) blood-thinning drug Plavix, making it work less effectively, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

New data show AstraZeneca Plc’s (AZN.L) Prilosec — which is also sold over-the-counter and is widely available generically as omeprazole — reduces the anti-clotting effect of Plavix by almost half, the Food and Drug Administration said.

Plavix is the world’s second-biggest-selling medicine, with worldwide sales of around $9 billion.

The U.S. label for Plavix, known also as clopidogrel, will be updated with new warnings on the use of Prilosec and other drugs that could interact in the same way, the agency said in a statement.

Patients taking Plavix should consult with their doctor if they are currently taking or considering taking Prilosec, it added. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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