Anticoagulant drugs, or blood thinners, are used to prevent and treat clotting of the blood. There are a number of minor drugs available, but five are more commonly prescribed by physicians. Here is a look at the side effects these drugs produce and conditions they treat.
- Warfarin: This anticoagulant is a common drug used in healthcare. It is also known as coumadin. The drug is taken by mouth in a prescribed low dose. Those taking the drug should be monitored with frequent blood testing. The dose is lowered or increased based on these tests. A special diet is also recommended. Patients cannot consume high amounts of vitamin K. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach should be eaten in moderation. Coumadin can be dangerous if you have cuts or injuries. It can increase bleeding and cause other problems.
- Heparin: Heparin is anticoagulant medication that is prescribed to people with leg-clotting problems. It is also used to prevent strokes, help in high-risk pregnancies and other conditions. Patients cannot take this drug by mouth. It must be administered through the veins or under the skin. Although it is administered by medical professionals, patients can self-administer the medication. This drug can cause bruising, pain or redness in the injection site. The drug cannot be taken with other anticoagulants, aspirin or antihistamines. Patients must tell their doctor about any other medications they are taking prior to taking heparin.
- Miradon: Miradon is in the class of anticoagulant medications. It is administered by mouth but can cause headache and upset stomach. This drug is not given to pregnant women or people with a history of kidney or heart disease. Miradon can also cause rashes, shortness of breath and unusual bleeding in some individuals.
- Sintrom: Like the majority of blood thinners, sintrom will negatively affect vitamin K by preventing the body from using this vital nutrient. Sintrom also cause gastrointestinal bleeding, headache and diarrhea in some users. However, the medication does prevent and treat blood clots.
- Warfilone: This drug is used to treat or prevent clotting within heart’s anatomy. It controls and helps with atrial fibrillation, artificial heart valves and embolisms. Warfilone is another type of warfarin.
Anticoagulants are used to save the lives of patients who would not survive without their help. Patients must follow all prescribed instructions provided by their physicians and immediately report any side effects.