Anticoagulant drugs are used to prevent the blood from clotting as quickly as possible in an effective way. They are also known as blood thinners. However, the blood does not make any thinner itself.
Anticoagulants are mainly chemical substances that reduce coagulation of the blood, prolonging the clotting time. They are closely related to anti-platelet drugs and therapy for thrombotic disorders.
Anticoagulants are used to prevent blood clotting that may occur in your blood vessels due to some chemical reaction that makes the blood thick, which can cause blood clots that can block blood vessels(An artery or a vein).
When blood vessels are blocked with blood clots, it stops the blood and oxygen circulation in the body, and it can’t reach several parts of the body, for example, the heart, brain, or lungs. In this situation, the tissue supplied by a blocked vessel is damaged or dies, which results in severe problems like heart attack, strokes or transient ischaemic attacks(known as mini-strokes), deep vein thrombosis(DVT), and pulmonary embolism.
Such kinds of problems can increase the risk of losing a life. So, it is better to take treatments under anticoagulant if you have symptoms of blood coagulation. Anticoagulant medicines are used to prevent blood clots, and the most common condition for this is atrial fibrillation.
When there is a cut on a blood vessel, the damaged tissue causes tiny cells in the blood to become sticky and have a clump-like texture around the cut. Such activated platelets and the damaged tissue release chemicals that react with some other chemicals and proteins present in the blood, which are said to be clotting called coagulation factors. Generally, there are 13 known factors of clotting, which are called by their Roman numbers as factor I to factor XIII. These 13 factors interact together and cause complex chemical reactions that cause blood clotting or coagulation.
Anticoagulants work by interfering with the chemicals that are responsible for making clotting or clotting factors. Warfarin, Phenindione, and Acenocoumarol are Anticoagulant medicines that work by blocking the effects of vitamin K, which is also responsible for causing some clotting factors.
Blocking of vitamin K and other chemicals by anticoagulant drugs prevents blood clots from forming so quickly by increasing the time it takes to make fibrin clot blood. These medicines usually take two or three days in the process wor, king by mixing up with specific chemicals to prevent the symptoms of clotting.
On the other hand, Dabigatran, Edoxaban, Apixaban, and Rivaroxaban are drugs that come in the class of anti-coagulates used to prevent a blood chemical called thrombin from in turn preventing fibrin, which is made fibrinogen. Dabigatran mainly works by binding to thrombin; Apixaban or Rivaroxaban preclude the production of thrombin. These four anticoagulant medicines work rapidly within two to four hours of intake.
Like all medicines, anticoagulants also contain some possible side effects on their consumption. It mainly includes those side effects in which you can bleed easily, which can cause problems such as
However, These side effects are seen in a few people, and the benefits of taking anticoagulant drugs will outweigh the risk of excessive bleeding and these side effects. Patients who are mainly prescribed warfarin, phenindione, and cenocoumarol have to go through regular blood tests to measure how quickly the blood clots.
Anticoagulants can react with other medicines that you take, so it is important to tell your doctor about any other medications that you are taking, including ones that you have bought rather than ones that have been prescribed to you.
Inform your doctor if you are going through other medical treatment before you take any anticoagulants under their prescription. Always provide exact information about your symptoms, like how long you take to stop bleeding and other related symptoms, and also about The side effects of anticoagulants.
In case you take warfarin, always carry it with you, and a yellow anticoagulant treatment booklet, which is also given to you, can help doctors in emergencies to know at what dose you are consuming warfarin. Avoid the use of anticoagulant drugs if you are going to have surgery or an invasive test.
It is better to avoid alcohol consumption; otherwise, consume it in a limited low volume of one or two units in any day. Try to avoid activities that can cause injury, like abrasion, bruising, or cuts, and safely use equipment and tools while working in daily life. Try to protect yourself from insect bites and use repellents when you may be in contact with them. Anticoagulant medicines are only given under prescription, so do not consume them by yourself.