Blood Clot in the Legs (cont.)
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Deep Vein Thrombosis Medications
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.
A new medication called rivaroxaban (Xarelto), 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.
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