Why Anticoagulants are Prescribed?
Blood thinners are a class of medications commonly used to treat medical conditions such as ischemic stroke (blockage in an artery feeding the brain), atrial fibrilation (afib), blood clots in the arms, legs, or lungs, and other disorders that make the blood prone to excessive clotting. Coumadin (warfarin) has been used the longest and is probably the most recognizable one, but new classes of “novel” anticoagulants have been developed and their use has increased rapidly. These novel anticoagulants include dabigatran (pradaxa), rivaroxaban (xarelto), and apixaban (eliquis).
Inhibiting the clotting factors prevents abnormal clotting of blood and the medical conditions that could ensue.
How Decoagulant Pills Work
Anticoagulants work by inhibiting clotting factors that are necessary for the formation of blood clots. These factors prevents abnormal clotting of blood and the medical conditions that could ensue. The inhibition can occur at several different points in the clotting cascade. Coumadin works to thin the blood by inhibiting the vitamin K dependent clotting factors II, VII, IX, and X. The novel anticoagulant pradaxa works by inhibiting the coagulation factor thrombin. Eliquis and xarelto affects factor Xa.
Most people who are prescribed these medications are able to enjoy their beneficial effects without experiencing bothersome side effects. Unfortunately, a small percentage of people taking blood-thinning medications may experience excessive or abnormal bleeding, excessive or easy bruising, anemia, nausea, or an irritated stomach lining. Ensure that you discuss any potential side effects with your healthcare provider immediately who may need to choose an alternative medicine to treat your condition. There is also significant risk associated with stopping blood thinners, so your health care provider should be involved with decisions to stop these medications for surgical procedures. Prematurely discontinuing blood thinner therapy increases the risk of a blood clot forming.
The Importance of Compliance
Seeing your healthcare provider on a routine basis is not enough if you do not follow the instructions that have been given once a health and wellness concern is identified. One of the most important steps that you can take to prevent worsening of your health is to take any medications that are prescribed. Most people will require lifetime treatment with medications for certain chronic diseases, but some will be able to eventually stop taking their medicines if strict compliance with diet and lifestyle changes can be maintained.