blood thinner

Also called anticoagulants, *blood thinners are drugs that decrease the ability of the blood to clot, or coagulate. They are used to treat certain blood vessel and heart and lung conditions. They are also given to some people at high risk for blood clots, including those with atrial fibrillation or artificial heart valves. Blood thinners do not dissolve clots but may prevent existing clots from becoming larger and causing more serious problems. They are often prescribed to prevent first or recurrent heart attack or stroke. Common anticoagulant drugs are heparin and warfarin.

(* Some medications are commonly called blood thinners because they can help reduce a blood clot from forming. There are three main types of blood thinners that patients commonly take: anticoagulants like warfarin or heparin, antiplatelet drugs like aspirin, and fibrinolytics like tPA (tissue plasminogen activator). Each type of medication has a specific function to prevent a blood clot from forming or causing a blocked blood vessel, heart attack, or stroke.)

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