What is anticoagulants?

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What are some examples of anticoagulants?

Here are some examples of anticoagulants. For each item in the list, the generic name is first, followed by any brand names.

  • apixaban (Eliquis)
  • dabigatran (Pradaxa)
  • rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
  • warfarin (Coumadin)

This is not a complete list of anticoagulants.

How can you help your child safely take anticoagulants?

  • Be safe with medicines. Have your child take medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think your child is having a problem with his or her medicine.
  • If your child misses a dose of medicine, don't give an extra dose to make up for it. Your doctor can tell you what to do so you don't give too much or too little.
  • Talk to the doctor before you start or stop giving your child any medicines, vitamins, or natural remedies. Medicines may affect how blood thinners work.
  • Ask your pharmacist how to store the blood thinner.
  • Have your child wear medical alert jewelry. This lets others know that your child takes a blood thinner. You can buy it at most drugstores.
  • Tell your child's doctors, dentist, and pharmacist that your child is taking a blood thinner. Also tell the people who care for your child, such as relatives, babysitters, and the school nurse. Let them know what to do if your child has a cut or bruise and when to call for help.
  • If your child takes heparin, learn how to give a shot. Ask your doctor for instructions.
  • If your child takes warfarin:
    • Keep the amount of vitamin K in your child's diet about the same from day to day. Vitamin K affects how warfarin works and how the blood clots. It is in many foods, such as leafy greens, green vegetables, and vegetable oils.
    • Take your child to the doctor for scheduled blood tests. These tests check how long it takes the blood to form a clot. The doctor may adjust your child's dose of warfarin based on the results.

How do anticoagulants work?

Anticoagulants prevent blood clots from forming in your blood vessels and heart. They also keep blood clots from growing bigger.

Anticoagulants are often called "blood thinners."

What are some cautions about anticoagulants?

Cautions for anticoagulants include the following:

  • Anticoagulants increase the risk of bleeding and bruising. This could be an emergency.
  • Stopping the medicine can increase your risk for a deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or stroke. It's important to talk to your doctor before you make any changes in how you take this medicine.

Why are anticoagulants used?

Anticoagulants are used to treat and prevent problems caused by blood clots. These problems include deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and stroke.

Anticoagulants may be used by people who:

  • Have a replacement heart valve.
  • Have atrial fibrillation.
  • Have coronary artery disease or peripheral artery disease.
  • Have a deep vein thrombosis or are at high risk for one.
  • Have had a pulmonary embolism or are at high risk for one.

What are some side effects of anticoagulants?

You may have bleeding or bruising when you use anticoagulants. This could be an emergency.

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