Understanding Anticoagulants

Anticoagulants prevent blood clots from forming. These medications are often referred to as blood thinners. They can be prescribed for conditions like stroke, pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. Anticoagulants are used to decrease the chance of clotting occurring in patients who have had clotting events.

Which Health Conditions Can Be Treated With Anticoagulants

The majority of anticoagulants are used for conditions where there is a higher risk of developing or repairing a bloodclot. Deep vein thrombosis, stroke, pulmonary embolism and atrial fibrillation are all examples of these conditions. Anticoagulants may be prescribed in these situations to prevent clotting or reduce the chance of another one forming.

Some examples of anticoagulants

Warfarin and other anticoagulants are most frequently prescribed. Warfarin, the most well-known anticoagulant and oldest in use, is administered orally. Heparin can be administered subcutaneously or intravenously and it is commonly used as a short-term treatment. Dabigatran and other anticoagulants are available orally. They are commonly used as long-term treatments.

Views of experts on anticoagulants

Experts agree that anticoagulants can be used to prevent and treat blood clots. The American Heart Association states that anticoagulants can reduce stroke risk by being among the best drugs. Numerous clinical trials have shown that anticoagulants may reduce the chance of recurrent vein thromboembolism in patients at high risk.

Anticoagulants can have side effects

Anticoagulants can be safely used and are well tolerated. There are potential side effects such as bleeding, rash and itching. Rarely, liver damage and low platelet counts can lead to more severe side effects like anemia, liver damage, or even death. Before you start an anticoagulant, it is important that your doctor be aware of any side effects.

Alternative Natural Remedies

Natural remedies such as ginger, garlic, ginkgo biloba and omega-3 fatty acid may all have anticoagulant properties. These substances have been shown to reduce platelet aggregation, and may even prevent blood clots. These natural remedies can interact with prescription medications so it's important to talk with your doctor first.


Effective medications to reduce blood clot risk and treat existing clots are called anticoagulants. Although they are well tolerated and generally safe, there can be side effects. You may also find natural remedies with anticoagulant properties. However, it is important that you consult your physician before using them. Anticoagulants can be an effective tool in preventing or treating blood clots. However, they should only be taken under supervision of a doctor.

This article provides an overview on anticoagulants and their uses. It also includes examples of side effects. This information will help you gain a greater understanding of anticoagulants and their potential benefits for specific health conditions.