Anticoagulation Therapy

Anticoagulants are a type of drug that reduces the body's ability to form clots in the blood. They do this by inhibiting the production of vitamin K in the liver. This increases the time your blood takes to clot. Although they are sometimes called blood thinners, they do not actually thin the blood. This type of medicine will not dissolve clots that already have formed, although it will help to stop an existing clot from getting larger.

Why you may need anticoagulants

You may need to take warfarin, or other anticoagulants, if you have been diagnosed with or treated for one or more of the following:

Sometimes it is only necessary to take anticoagulants for a few months. In other circumstances you will take them for life. Your health care professional will tell you how long to take them for. Do not stop taking them unless you are told to you. Anticoagulant drugs affect the blood's ability to clot and therefore there is an increased risk of bleeding for people who are taking them. Because of this risk, it is vitally important to take the tablets exactly as directed. Never take larger or more frequent doses.

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