Font Size
A
A
A

Blood Clot in the Legs (cont.)

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Medications

Patient Comments

Warfarin (Coumadin) is an oral medication taken to thin or anticoagulate the blood. It may take a few days for its action to take effect. The dose needs to be individualized for each person, and blood clotting must be monitored routinely since changes in diet, activity, and the administration of other medications may affect the levels of warfarin. Blood tests (usually INR, or international normalized ratio) are done routinely to monitor the blood-thinning effects and help the health care provider select the appropriate warfarin dose. Ideally, the INR should be kept in a range between 2.0 and 3.0. Blood tests are done weekly until the INR stabilizes and then are done every 2 weeks to every month.

Enoxaparin (Lovenox) is a low molecular weight heparin injected beneath the skin to thin the blood. The dose is usually 1 milligram per kilogram of weight injected twice daily or 1.5 milligrams per kilogram injected once daily. Enoxaparin usually is considered a temporary medication to be used to thin the blood while warfarin begins to take effect; however, it may be used over the long term in some patients with cancer.

Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) is a newer medication, which belongs to the selective Factor Xa inhibitor class of drugs, is an oral tablet for the treatment of DVT. It may be used as a treatment and a preventive therapy for blood clots.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Surgery

Patient Comments

Surgery is a rare option in treating large deep venous thrombosis of the leg in patients who cannot take blood thinners or who have developed recurrent blood clots while on anticoagulant medications. The surgery is usually accompanied by placing an IVC (inferior vena cava) filter to prevent future clots from embolizing to the lung.

Phlegmasia cerulea dolens describes a situation in which a blood clot forms in the iliac vein of the pelvis and the femoral vein of the leg, obstructing almost all blood return and compromising blood supply to the leg. In this case surgery may be considered to remove the clot, but the patient will also require anticoagulant medications.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Follow-up

A person who has had a deep vein thrombosis may be asked to return for follow-up Doppler ultrasounds or other imaging studies if the leg swelling persists or if the symptoms recur. During anticoagulant treatment, it is often advised to take the following measures:

  • Take the prescribed amount of medication. Do not miss or add doses.
  • Follow the doctor's instructions closely about when to get lab tests for blood coagulation.
  • Ask the doctor before starting or stopping any medication, including over-the-counter medications. Many medicines increase or otherwise interfere with the effect of anticoagulants.
  • Ask what foods should be avoided, because some foods may change the effectiveness of blood-thinning drugs.
  • Wear a MedicAlert bracelet with information about any anticoagulants you are taking.
  • Inform any other medical professionals including dentists or podiatrists you are taking an anticoagulant before undergoing any procedure.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/3/2015

Must Read Articles Related to Blood Clot in the Legs

Blood Clots
Blood Clots Blood is supposed to clot to help repair a blood vessel that is injured. Clots or thrombi become a problem when they form inappropriately. There are a variety o...learn more >>
Leg Pain
Leg Pain There are a variety of causes of leg pain. Some of the common causes include fractures, strains, sprains, bleeding, diseases such as gout, peripheral artery dis...learn more >>
Pulmonary Embolism
Pulmonary Embolism A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot in the lung. The clot typically comes from other areas of the body and travels to the lung, where it becomes lodged. P...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Deep Vein Thrombosis (Blood Clot in the Leg, DVT):

Deep Vein Thrombosis - Symptoms

For deep vein thrombosis, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?

DVT - Experience

Please share your experience with deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

DVT - Medications

What medications were effective in treating DVT?

DVT - Surgery

Please share your experience with DVT surgery.

Deep Vein Thrombosis - Treatments

What treatment was effective for your deep vein thrombosis?




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Deep Venous Thrombosis »

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) most commonly involves the deep veins of the leg or arm, often resulting in potentially life-threatening emboli to the lungs or debilitating venous alular dysfunction and chronic leg swelling.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary