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Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb said they are conducting studies of whether genetic factors or heartburn drugs can interfere with Plavix.
"Individuals do not all respond to the same degree to a specific drug," said Sanofi spokeswoman Elizabeth Baxter. "Many studies are currently ongoing, including studies of clopidogrel, to explore what is responsible for this phenomenon."
The studies will take several months to complete, according to FDA, which said it would issue recommendations after reviewing them.
Until more information is available, the FDA says patients should continue taking Plavix. However, doctors should be cautious when prescribing the heartburn drugs to patients already taking Plavix.
In general, the FDA has begun notifying the public earlier about possible safety issues involving drugs. The policy change came after the agency was criticized for acting too slowly on information about medicines that were later removed from the market due to safety reasons.
Shares of Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis rose 23 cents Monday to $30.60 in midday trading. Shares of New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. dipped 1 cent to $22.38.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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