Must know Type of Anticoagulants – AC

Anticoagulants are used to prevent the formation of blood clots. Anticoagulants are used for various purposes. Some of them are used prevent or treat disorders related to emboli and abnormal blood clots. Anticoagulant drugs include intravenous heparin, that works by inactivating thrombin and other factors that forms a clot. Oral anticoagulants work by inhibiting the production of vitamin K'dependent factors in the liver. These factors  promotes clotting. Anticoagulant solutions are also preserve stored whole blood and blood fractions and to keep laboratory blood specimens from clotting.

WHEN ANTICOAGULANTS SHOULD BE USED ?

Treatment with anticoagulants may be recommended if your doctor feels you're at an increased risk of developing problems related to blood clotting such as atrial fibrillation that can cause blood clots to form. Blood clot cause the blockage against the flow of blood through a blood vessel, the affected part of the body will become starved of oxygen and will stop working properly. In such conditions, anticoagulants are the best remedy.

If you've recently had surgery, you will be prescribed by an anticoagulant.

TYPE OF ANTICOAGULANTS:

Oral Medications

Oral medications work by decreasing the tendency of clotting by interfering with platelets. It may also block the way your body forms the clots. Below is the list of anticoagulants, but you must consult a cardiologist that will decide which one is right for you.

  • Aspirin

It tends to cause fewer bleeding complications than clopidogrel or warfarin. It may not block clotting enough. Some stomach disorders are also associated by using aspirin.

  • Clopidogrel

It works by increasing the platelet function. It may be effective for 7–10 days. These anticoagulants are longer-acting.

  • Warfarin

It increases your risk of serious bleeding problems, even when the dose is at the recommended level. Carefully and regularly monitoring the level of blood thinning by testing is required while on warfarin.

If you take warfarin, you may need to limit some physical activities to reduce the chance of injury, particularly a head injury.

  • Apixaban (Eliquis)
  • Dabigatran (Pradaxa)
  • Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
  • Enoxaparin

Intravenous Medications

These medications work rapidly by thinning the blood. When the usage of these medications stop, the effect immediately stops. Intravenous medications are shorter-acting heparins.

Subcutaneous Medications

These medications are injected underneath the skin. There are two blood-thinning medications: heparin and low-molecular-weight heparin (Lovenox). This is sometimes done if it's required for a longer time and eliminates the need for an intravenous line long-term. Your cardiologist will determine which type of blood-thinning medication is best for you.

SIDE EFFECTS OF ANTICOAGULANTS:

Like all medicines, there's a risk of experiencing side effects while taking anticoagulants. The main side effect is that you can bleed too easily, which can cause problems such as:

  • passing blood in your urine
  • passing blood when you poo or having black poo
  • severe bruising
  • prolonged nosebleeds
  • bleeding gums
  • vomiting blood or coughing up blood
  • heavy periods in women

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