What Are Blood Thinners and How Do They Work?
Kush Desai, MD
Anticoagulants, commonly known as blood thinners, are medications meant to keep your blood from clotting. When a blood clot is found in the deep veins of the leg, it is called a deep venous thrombosis (DVT). Anticoagulants are typically prescribed in these situations to prevent extension of the clot; it is important to remember that it does not actually cause the existing clot to dissolve or break up; the body does that on its own.
Anticoagulants all work differently; some work by changing factors made by the liver, others work directly on proteins in the bloodstream. These medications are delivered in a variety of ways. In the hospital, they may be given through an IV, with a transition to injectable or oral medications later. As an outpatient, they will be initially received orally or through an injection. These medications commonly increase a patient’s ability to bruise and bleed with cuts or trauma. It is important to follow your physician’s advice closely while taking these medications.
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TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR
FROM UNDERSTANDING YOUR RISK OF COMPLICATIONS TO FINDING OUT ABOUT YOUR TREATMENT OPTIONS, OUR DOCTOR DISCUSSION GUIDE HAS IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR TO HELP CLEAR UP THE CONFUSION ABOUT DVT.