Anti-Coagulant Drugs are medicines that prevent the clotting of blood.
Anti-Coagulant drugs help prevent the formation of harmful clots in the
blood vessels by decreasing the blood's ability to clump together. Although
these drugs are sometimes called Blood Thinners, they do not actually thin
the blood. Furthermore, this type of medicine will not dissolve clots that
already have formed, although the drug stops an existing clot from
worsening. However, another type of drug, used in Thrombolytic Therapy, will
dissolve existing clots.
Anti-Coagulant Drugs are used in a number of situations. For example, they
may be given to prevent blood clots from forming after the replacement of a
heart valve or to reduce the risk of a stroke or another heart attack after
a first heart attack. They are also used to reduce the chance of formation
of blood clots, during open heart surgery or bypass surgery. Low doses of
these drugs may be given to prevent blood clots in patients who must stay in
bed for a long time after certain kinds of surgery.
Because these drugs affect the blood's ability to clot, they can increase
the risk of severe bleeding and heavy blood loss. Because of this risk,
taking Anti-coagulant Drugs exactly as directed and seeing a physician
regularly while taking the medicine is essential.
Anti-Coagulant Drugs, also called Anti-Platelet Drugs, Anti-Clotting Drugs,
and Blood Thinners, are available only with a physician's prescription. They
come in tablet and injectable forms. Some commonly used Anti-Coagulant Drugs
are Dicumarol, Warfarin, Dipyridamole, Enoxaparin and Heparin.