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Anticoagulant Drugs

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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.