Deep Vein Thrombosis (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Anticoagulant medicines, also called blood thinners, are used to prevent and treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
These medicines prevent new clots from forming and prevent existing clots from getting larger. They don't break up or dissolve existing blood clots.
For prevention, anticoagulants might be used::
For treatment, you might take more than one type of anticoagulant for a short time: heparin as a shot and warfarin as a pill. This ensures that your medicine starts working right away. You might take heparin for a few days. You'll likely take the pill for a few months or more.
Heparin is injected. It starts working right away.
The two types of heparin are:
Warfarin is a pill that you will likely take along with heparin for a few days. Then you might take warfarin for a few months or more.
Rivaroxaban is a pill given after surgery, such as hip or knee replacement, to prevent deep vein thrombosis.
Fondaparinux (Arixtra) is an injected anticoagulant. It is used only in the hospital.
Thrombolytics are used to quickly dissolve a clot in certain people. They are only used in the hospital.
How long will you need medicine?
If you're taking anticoagulants after surgery to prevent DVT, you only need the medicine for a short time. This might be 2 weeks or more, depending on the medicine and the type of surgery you had.
For treatment of deep vein thrombosis, you will likely take an anticoagulant for at least three months. You might take it longer, depending on your health.
You might take anticoagulants for a long time, maybe the rest of your life, if you:
Safety tips for anticoagulants
If you take an anticoagulant, you can take steps to prevent bleeding. This includes preventing injuries and getting regular blood tests if needed.
For more information, see:
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