Blood Clot Treatment

Anticoagulants are medications used by doctors as blood thinners that treat blood cots. These medications prevent new clots from forming as well as current clots from growing any larger. However, they do not break up or dissolve existing blood clots.

Warfarin (Coumadin) and Heparin are the two most common anticoagulants, but newer anticoagulant medications like Xarelto, Pradaxa, and Eliquis are also widely prescribed by doctors.

Heparin is an anticoagulant medication that is given by injection and comes in two forms.

One form of Heparin is LMWH, which stands for Low-molecular-weight Heparin. It can be found under the names Dalteparin(Fragmin) and Enoxaparin (Lovenox).

LMWH is given by injection(shot) and can be given at home.

Advantages of Low Molecular Weight Heparin

* Blood tests are generally not needed
* Given as a shot rather than by IV
* Home treatment

Disadvantages:

*Expensive

The next form is (UF) Unfractionated Heparin. Some doctors refer to it as IV Heparin, because generally you receive it only in a hospital from an IV.

Advantages of UF Heparin:
* UF Heparin works very quickly to prevent blood clots
* It is inexpensive

Disadvantages:
* Daily blood tests to ensure heparin is working to prevent blood clots.
* Hospitilization is required when taking UF Heparin by IV. It will be administered by medical professionals during the hospitilization, which typically averages 5 to 8 days.
* UF Heparin can cause internal bleeding, but that is watched for in the hospital.


 Warfarin

 Warfarin(Coumadin) is an oral anti-coagulant that serves as the foundation for long-term treatment of DVT and PE. 
 It helps to prevent new blood clots from forming, and helps to keep existing blood clots from getting worse.
 Warfarin is also prescribed to prevent stroke in people with atrial fibrillation.
 
Advantages of Warfarin(Coumadin):
* Warfarin comes in a pill form.
* Inexpensive
* Prescribed for more than 50 years

Disadvantages of Warfarin:
* Must be taken on time every day
* Requires regular monitoring with blood tests(INR)
* Most serious side effect is bleeding

Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)

Xarelto is an oral anticoagulant(pill) that is prescribed to serve as the foundation for the long-term treatment of DVT and PE. It is also prescribed to reduce the formation of blood clots and prevent stroke in people with atrial fibrillation that is not caused by a heart valve problem.

Advantages:
* Routine monitoring is not required
* It is a pill, not a shot.
* Home treatment

Disadvantages:
* Most serious side effect is bleeding
* Expensive
* Taken twice daily for DVT and PE

Dabigatran (Pradaxa)

Pradaxa 
is an oral anticoagulant(pill) that is prescribed to to reduce the formation of blood clots and prevent stroke in people with atrial fibrillation that is not caused by a heart valve problem.
It is also prescribed to treat blood clots in your legs (DVT) and lungs (PE) and to reduce the risk of them occurring again.

Advantages:
* Routine monitoring is not required
* It is a pill, not a shot.
* Home treatment

Disadvantages:
* Most serious side effect is bleeding
* Expensive
* Taken twice daily 

Apixaban (Eliquis)

Eliquis is an oral anticoagulant (pill) that is prescribed to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people who have atrial fibrillation that is not caused by a heart valve problem.
It is also prescribed as a long-term foundation to treat DVT and PE, while reducing the risk of blood clots from occurring again.

Advantages:
* Routine monitoring is not required
* It is a pill, not a shot.
* Home treatment

Disadvantages:
* Most serious side effect is bleeding
* Expensive
* Taken twice daily

Please consult your physician to determine which medication is correct for you. Follow the prescription directions provided by your physician.
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