Blood Thinners


These medicines help prevent blood clots. They also keep existing blood clots from getting bigger. You may need a blood thinner if you have certain problems with your heart or blood vessels, or if you have a high risk for clotting.

How do they work?

How do these drugs work? Well, there are a few types of blood thinners. The first, called "antiplatelet" drugs, keep the platelets in your blood from sticking together to form clots. The second, called "anticoagulant" drugs, keep your body from producing proteins called "clotting factors." Without these proteins, clots have trouble forming.

Cuts and injuries

While blood thinners can be lifesaving, they can also create a danger. Why? Because when you have a bleeding wound, your blood needs to clot to stop the bleeding. If you're taking a blood thinner and you get cut or injured, you may bleed too much. So you need to avoid cuts, falls and other injuries. Use care when handling sharp objects. Wear sturdy shoes and gloves when you're working outside. Wear a helmet when riding a bike. And get medical help if you bump your head, develop a large bruise or have a cut that won't stop bleeding.

Other precautions

Be aware that these drugs also interact with other foods, supplements, alcohol and other medicines. So make sure you follow all of your drug's instructions. And let all of your doctors and your dentist know that you're taking a blood thinner.


For more info about blood thinners and how to use them safely, talk to your doctor.