Anticoagulants: what are the main types and what are they for?

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Anticoagulants are drugs that prevent clot formation, as they block the action of substances that lead to clotting. Clots are essential to heal herids and stop bleeding, but there are situations where blood circulation could be interrupted, causing important diseases such as stroke, thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, for example.

Therefore, anticoagulants allow the blood to always remain in a liquid state within the vessels and allow it to circulate freely.

Those that are commonly used are Heparin, Warfarin and Rivaroxabán, these must be administered under medical indications, because if they are used improperly, there may be a risk of severe bleeding.

Who should use them

Anticoagulants must be used by people who have a greater possibility of forming a thrombus, such as those who suffer from cardiac arrhythmias or who use heart valve prosthesis. They can also be used to eliminate a thrombus that has formed, as in cases of people with thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or infarction.

Main types of anticoagulants

Anticoagulants are divided according to the route of administration and its mechanism of action in:

1. Injectable anticoagulants

Injectable anticoagulants such as Heparin or Fondaparinux (Arixtra) are administered directly in the vein or in the region below the skin.

These drugs are generally used to prevent venous thromboembolic disease and in people who have undergone surgery, who have reduced mobility, to prevent thrombus formation during hemodialysis or in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction.

Heparin can also be used in pregnant women for the prevention of thrombosis, since it does not interfere with the development of the baby.

2. Oral anticoagulants

There are different types of oral anticoagulants and their choice depends on the doctor’s assessment of their advantages and disadvantages for each person:

types names advantages Disadvantages
Vitamin K inhibitors

Warfarin (Cvamed, Coumadin);

Acenocoumarol (Sintrom).

– Many used;

– More cheap;

– Allow greater control of coagulation through examinations.

– Need to carry out coagulation controls;

– The doses must be modified frequently;

– Its effect can be altered by the action of other medicines or foods that contain vitamin K.

New anticoagulants

Rivaroxaban (Xarelto);

Dabigatran (Pradaxa);

Apixaban (Elicuis).

– It is not necessary to carry out regular coagulation controls;

– Daily single doses;

– May have fewer side effects.

– More expensive;

– Contraindicated in several diseases;

– No antidotes.

In the case of vitamin K inhibitors, the control of the regulation should normally be carried out once a month to comply with the medical indications.

Natural anticoagulant medicines

There are some phytotherapeutic substances, which are popularly known as being able to “tune” the blood and reduce the risk of clot formation, such as Ginkgo biloba or Dong quai.

These plants can be used before being taken in the form of capsules, sold in stores of natural products, however, their use should never replace the medicines prescribed by the doctor and they should not be used together with other anticoagulants.

In addition to this, it should only be ingested after the doctor becomes aware of this, as they could interfere with the action of other medicines, the use of these herbal medicines should be interrupted in the preoperative period of any surgery, as also occurs with anticoagulant medicines .

Care during treatment

During treatment with anticoagulants, it is important to:

  • Mention it to the doctor whenever there are changes in the diet or in the use of medications, so as not to interfere with the action of anticoagulants;
  • Never mix the types of anticoagulants, except in cases where the doctor tells you to;
  • Observe signs of bleeding, such as excessive spots in the skin, bleeding from encías, bleeding in the orina or in the heces. If you notice any of these signs, seek medical help.

Some foods rich in vitamin K reduce the action of certain anticoagulants, such as Warfarin, for this reason it is necessary to consume them with attention. However, as the dose of anticoagulants is adjusted to the needs of each person, it is not necessary to stop the consumption of these foods, but it is necessary to avoid sudden changes in food, maintaining a constant amount in the diet.

Examples of these foods are dark green vegetables with lots of today, such as spinach, col, lechuga, broccoli, cabbage and coliflor, for example. Find a complete list of foods rich in vitamin K.

Home remedies that should be avoided together with anticoagulants

It is common that there are people who use herbal remedies or home remedies on a daily basis without medical indication, thinking that they are natural and that some people do not have a problem, however, some can interact, generally, intensifying the effect of anticoagulants, which increases el riesgo de sangrado y puede poner en peligro la vida de la persona.

For people who use anticoagulant or anti-aggregating drugs, special attention must be paid when taking home remedies or dietary supplements prepared from:

  • I act;
  • Ginkgo biloba;
  • Ginseng;
  • red sage;
  • Guaco;
  • Dong what the angelica sinensis;
  • Castaño de Indias;
  • Bilberry;
  • Guarana;
  • Arnica.

Due to this type of interactions between medications and natural remedies, it is important to only take medications after medical approval or indication.

Verified by RJ9823 – Public Utility – cc2.0

Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

Content for educational purposes only

The translator user relied on the following text:

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Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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