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Blood thinners are medicines that help prevent blood clots. They also help treat problems caused by blood clots. Your doctor may call them anticoagulants.
Blood thinners don't really thin the blood. They slow down the time it takes for a blood clot to form. They also keep existing blood clots from getting bigger. Blood thinners can help prevent a stroke caused by a heart rhythm problem (atrial fibrillation). This heart rhythm problem can form clots in the heart that can then go to the brain. Blood thinners can also help prevent or treat blood clots in the legs or lungs.
Examples of blood thinners include:
These instructions are about blood thinner medicines except warfarin. If you take warfarin, your doctor will give you other instructions.
Blood thinners can help save lives. But they can also cause problems. They can make you more likely to bleed. It's important to take them right and do everything you can to keep yourself safe.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: July 22, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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