Anticoagulants are a drug family used to thin blood and prevent coagulation or blood clots. Commonly known as blood-thinners, anticoagulants can be used to treat or manage a variety of issues. Preventing blood clots can prevent strokes, heart attacks or failure, pulmonary embolisms and treat deep vein thrombosis, atrial fibrillation and angina (chest pain). Anticoagulants may also be prescribed after surgery or dialysis to help prevent clotting. There are many foods that interfere with anticoagulants, either by increasing or decreasing their blood-thinning properties. You may be asked to follow a strict diet while on anticoagulants. Because anticoagulants decrease clotting ability, cuts or wounds that would normally cause no alarm must be watched closely. This includes bruising, as you could suffer damage from internal bleeding. Although you should continue to be active while taking blood-thinners, you should take precautions to ensure your safety.
Drugs that are classified as anticoagulants are listed below.
Anticoagulants are used to treat and prevent diseases caused by excessive blood clotting. Preventing blood clots can prevent further progress into a disease.
Below you will find the uses of anticoagulants:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Heart failure
- Pulmonary embolisms
Anticoagulants Side Effects
Like any other drug, anticoagulants have their own collection of side effects. Side effects of anticoagulants can be serious. If you experience any of the following side effects, you should contact your doctor immediately. Note that not all possible side effects are listed below.
- Bloody gums
- Bloody stools
- Coughing blood
- Difficulty breathing
- Dizziness and headache
- Increase in menstrual flow
- Unexplained bleeding of any kind
Many anticoagulants interact with a wide range of medications. Luckily, these interactions typically only affect the efficacy of the drugs. By manipulating doses, your doctor will be able to make your medications work for you. Be sure to tell your doctor all the medication you are taking, including over the counter drugs. Many vitamins and supplements can alter the effect of anticoagulants.
There are also foods that you may be asked to avoid while taking anticoagulants. These foods may either encourage or discourage blood clotting and so should be avoided or eaten at a constant level. The foods that interact with anticoagulants include the following. Note that not all foods that may interact are listed below. Discuss your diet with your doctor.
- Green tea