Anticoagulants are used if you're at risk of developing blood clots that could potentially block a blood vessel and disrupt the flow of blood around your body.
This can lead to several serious conditions, including:
Your doctor may recommend anticoagulants to help prevent the above conditions if they feel you're at risk.
This may be because you have:
Anticoagulants are also sometimes used to treat blood clots, such as DVT or a pulmonary embolism, bystopping the clot getting bigger while your body slowly reabsorbs it.
How long you'll need to take anticoagulants for will depend on why they're needed. You might only need to take them for a short time after a hip or knee replacement, but treatment may be lifelong if you have a long-term condition that increases your risk of blood clots.
Anticoagulants are medicines that reduce the ability of the blood to clot. Read about why they're used, how you take them and what you need to bear in mind while taking them.
Anticoagulant medicines are used if your blood is clotting too quickly. When this happens, blood clots can form in the wrong places.
Read about how anticoagulants are taken, what to do if you miss a dose or take too much, and how your treatment will be monitored.
Read about the things you need to bear in mind if you're taking anticoagulants, including whether they're safe while pregnant and what other medications you need to avoid.
Read about the main side effects of anticoagulants, including excessive bleeding.