A) Warfarine [Coumadin™]
B) NOAC; Rivaroxaban [Xarelto™], Apixaban [Eliquis™], Dabigatran [Pradaxa™], Edoxaban [Lixiana™]
The anticoagulants are medications that prevent the forming of blood clots by blocking the molecules produced by the liver, which are necessary for coagulation.
They act very differently from the antiplatelets.
We usually prescribe these for people who have previously suffered from a blood clot in important vessels (thrombosis, pulmonary embolism) or for patients suffering from certain types of arrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation or auricular flutter, to minimize the risk of developing a clot in the left atrium and the risk of stroke following detachment of that clot in the left atrium.
Note that coumadin is still the only anticoagulant prescribed for patients with a metallic heart valve.
The protective effects of anticoagulants are not perceived by the patient. They can give you the effect of being taken for nothing or you get bothered by nose bleeds for example.
You should NEVER stop your anticoagulants without a health professional, well aware of the reason why you are taling them, to allow youto do so.
Depending on witch one your doctor will prescribe, the anticoagulants are taken once or twice per day. Be sure to always follow your doctor’s and your pharmacist’s recommendations.
If Warfarine is prescribed, be sure to refer to your doctor or pharmacist as certain particularities regarding to food are necessary to be aware of.
Rivaroxaban must absolutely be taken during a meal to optimize its efficiency.
Dabigatran and Apixaban may be taken with or without food, although it is suggested that they are taken during a meal to protect your stomach.
**NOACs are contreindicated in patients with severe renal impairment.
The most frequent secondary effects are bleeding and bruises.
It is recommended to wear a bracelet, for example “Medic-Alert”, indicating that you are using one of these medications.
Make sure you renew your prescription before running out of tablets. Remember that your protection may be defective from the first day without medication!