A Look at Anticoagulation Therapy

Anticoagulation therapy may be used by your cardiologist to manage a heart condition and prevent future complications. Though anticoagulants are often referred to as blood thinners, they don’t actually thin the blood, but rather slow down the clotting process. If your cardiologist is starting you on anticoagulation therapy, here is what you need to know.

blood clot

Why Is Anticoagulation Therapy Used?
Anticoagulation therapy helps to prevent the formation of  blood clots . When blood clots form, they can interfere with blood flow and cause a heart attack, stroke, or deep vein thrombosis, in which a blood clot travels to the lungs or other places and can block blood flow. These medications are helpful for people who have an increased risk of blood clots because of a heart condition, such as atrial fibrillation. Anticoagulation medications are also sometimes used during and after heart surgery or other surgeries to protect against issues of clots.

What Are the Side Effects?
When you’re on anticoagulation therapy, it’s important to follow your cardiologist’s instructions closely. He or she will monitor you carefully to make sure you’re not experiencing any complications from the medications, such as having blood that is too thin or too thick. Because anticoagulants slow down clot formation, you may bruise or bleed more easily and bleed for a longer time after an injury. It’s important to monitor for any increased bleeding and to inform your dentist and other doctors that you’re on anticoagulants before any procedure.  Some symptoms you will want to notify your doctor of right away: If you have blood in your urine, black stools, breathing difficulties, chest pain, or bleeding or bruising that is unusual, tell your cardiologist right away. You will want to let your doctor know if you start or stop other medications.

At Cardiac Solutions, We offer Free Anticoagulation Classes. Our cardiologists also closely monitor you when you’re on anticoagulation therapy so you get the benefits you need safely. To learn more about the care we provide in our  heart clinics , call (623) 208-5305 or visit us in Glendale, Phoenix, Peoria, Avondale, and Sun City West.     

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