Anticoagulants: Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Them!
Anticoagulants interrupt the chemicals that help your blood clot or promote clotting properties prescribed if a patient has been diagnosed with a blood clot, the most common reason for it is having deep vein thrombosis (DVT). They can also have a clot in the lung, known as a pulmonary embolus (PE).
In all cases of blood thickening and clot formation, the first preventive measure is to stop the further thickening of the blood. Today, anticoagulants play a significant role in preventing such clots from forming or mitigating them by stopping clots from enlarging if already developed.
What are the Reasons for Blood Thinners?
Agents such as Warfarin, phenindione, and acenocoumarol interrupt the coagulating effects of Vitamin K, which can increase in the human body due to old age or several other reasons. Blocking Vitamin K and stopping the easy formation of blood clots by increasing the time taken by the body to produce fibrin.
There exists another batch of anticoagulant medicines known as direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs). Dabigatran, edoxaban, apixaban, and rivaroxaban are some examples that help prevent a blood chemical known as thrombin from producing fibrin while dabigatran binds with thrombin, rivaroxaban, and Apixaban to stop thrombin production, taking two to four hours to work.
When are Anticoagulants Used?
Anticoagulants are used by people in the following circumstances:
- Irregular heartbeat, which is faster than average (atrial fibrillation), is one of the most common causes for prescribing an anticoagulant.
- Having a mechanical heart valve installed.
- Suffering from heart infection or endocarditis.
- A patient whose heart valve does not open completely, causing mitral stenosis.
- Certain blood diseases impact blood clotting mechanisms such as inherited thrombophilia and antiphospholipid syndrome.
- If a patient has gotten hip or knee replacement surgery.
Are there any Side Effects of taking Anticoagulants?
There can be a few side effects that arise out of the use of anticoagulants. Since it is not possible to list them all, the most prominent side effect of all anticoagulant medication is uncontrolled bleeding in case of an injury. People taking anticoagulants are required to get regular blood tests to understand the blood clot formation rate.
Sometimes, anticoagulation medicines can react with other medications that a patient may use. It is always important to let your healthcare professional know about your prescription medicines and the ones you use directly without consultation to eliminate the chances of any adverse reaction.
Are there Any Other Disclaimers With Taking Anticoagulants?
Some other important caveats to be mindful of while using prescription anticoagulants are:
- If the patient has any form of medical treatment, the healthcare professionals always need to be informed of their condition and prescription.
- Any patient using warfarin needs always to carry their yellow anticoagulant treatment booklet provided to them. This booklet will help doctors understand that the patient is using warfarin and the dose they receive.
- If a patient on anticoagulants has surgery or any invasive tests, they may be required to temporarily stop taking that medication to reduce the chances of bleeding out.
- Patients must inform their dentist that they are on anticoagulants. The majority of dental treatment does not have a risk of uncontrollable bleeding, but dental extractions or surgery may require you to stop medication for a while.
- Patients need to limit their alcohol intake and refrain from binge drinking.
- Patients should avoid putting themselves at risk of abrasive injuries, cuts, or bruises and always use protective gear while participating in activities such as gardening, cutting, or welding.
- Make sure to be careful while using razors and trimmers.
- Patients must brush their teeth with care.
Who Cannot Receive Anticoagulants?
A person is not eligible to be prescribed anticoagulant tablets if:
- They are pregnant; pregnant patients who need anticoagulants are prescribed heparin.
- Patients have stomach ulcers.
- They have suffered a hemorrhagic stroke or bleeding in the brain.
- They consume certain medicines that can cause a reaction to the anticoagulant.
- They have suffered major bleeding, which was treated.
- The patients, if undergoing surgery where they might be at risk of bleeding substantially.
- The patient has a very high rate of blood pressure.
- They have a diminished kidney function – the level of depleted kidney function due to which they cannot receive anticoagulation medication differs from one anticoagulant to another.
Anticoagulants play a vital role in keeping patients with blood clotting problems living a healthy life and hence must be extensively studied. For those who already have health problems that require the prescription of anticoagulants, knowledge is the key to protecting themselves against injuries or risks while going about daily activities. We hope that our blog has shed light on the common questions and reasons for blood thinners in use. Stay tuned for more pharmaceutical and medical-related topics!
About ZIM Laboratories
ZIM Labs is an innovative drug delivery solution provider focusing on improving patient convenience and adherence to drug intake. We offer a range of technology-based drug delivery solutions and non-infringing proprietary manufacturing processes for the production and supply of innovative and differentiated generic pharmaceutical products to our customers globally. At ZIM Labs we provide our customers a comprehensive range of value-added solid dosage differentiated generic products in semi-finished and finished categories/formulations. These include granules, pellets (sustained, modified, extended-release), taste-masked powders, suspensions, tablets, capsules, and recently developed Oral Thin Films (OTF).