Tags: blood thinners | heart attack | stroke | side effects | anticoagulant | plavix

Plavix: The Uses and Side Effects of Blood Thinners

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 11:24 PM

There are many reasons for clot formation in the blood. However, there are always serious consequences attached to any clot formation. A clot in the blood can clog the arteries, resulting in a blockage. This blockage blood flow can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Thus, clot formation must be prevented.
Blood has a natural ability to coagulate. This characteristic helps in the healing of injuries. Inappropriate coagulation of blood might lead to the formation of clots. Clots circulating in the blood sometimes are stuck in the arteries. Thus, they offer a base for plaque to accumulate. Anticoagulant drugs like Plavix prevent clot formation and prevent heart attacks and strokes. These blood thinners prevent platelets from clustering, thus accomplishing their anticoagulant action.
Heart attack and stroke are among major reasons for mortality across the world. This makes blood thinners important. Many blood thinners are available in the market but Plavix has been rated as the most tolerated drug. Overconsumption of anticoagulants should be restricted and the cardiologist’s advice is necessary before taking Plavix or any other anticoagulant.

Uses of Anticoagulant (Plavix)

• Prevent incidence of heart attack: A heart attack occurs when the artery supplying blood to the heart is blocked. A blood thinner is required by persons with a higher tendency to form clots in the blood or for persons with already narrowed artery lumen. Blood thinners are sometimes used as a treatment for heart attack.

• Prevent incidence of stroke: A stroke occurs when the artery supplying blood to the brain is blocked. Blood thinners are prescribed for persons diagnosed with mini strokes or those with higher risk for stroke.

• Help increase the flow of blood to the peripheral limbs (legs): When less blood reaches the legs (this condition generally occurs due to clots in the supplying arteries), blood thinners such as Plavix help improve flow of blood.

• Prevent clot formation in stents: Clot formation might occur once a stent is implanted to dilate or open the lumen of clogged arteries. Clot formation inside and around the stents can be prevented by the anticoagulant action of blood thinners like Plavix. This is why anticoagulants are generally prescribed post implant surgeries.

• For the above cases, the doctor’s prescribe dosage of Plavix or any other blood thinner should be used. Excess or inappropriate usage of anticoagulants can lead to the side effects discussed below.
Side Effects of Blood Thinners
Blood thinners enhance the flow of blood in the body and offer many advantages. Nevertheless, these have some serious side effects as well. Blood thinners are essentially anticoagulants, and we clearly know the benefits provided by the coagulating properties of blood. Thus, recommended use of blood thinners is restricted to people that really need them as previously mentioned.

The following people should not use blood thinners, even safe ones like Plavix: pregnant women or those planning a pregnancy, breastfeeding mothers or those planning to breast feed in the near future, persons diagnosed with haemophilia, and persons diagnosed with some or other bleeding disorder.

When blood is deprived of its coagulating property for long periods, it can lead to excessive bleeding or bleeding disorders, especially gastrointestinal bleeding. This is a major side effect of long-term or inappropriate use of Plavix or any blood thinner. Other minor and controllable side effects of Plavix include skin rash, pain in the stomach, diarrhea, nausea, and excessive itching.
General Precautions While Using Anticoagulants

• Use of any blood thinner should be stopped well ahead of any planned surgery.

• Drinking plenty of water is mandatory with anticoagulants and taking medicine on an empty stomach is a big "No."

• This anticoagulant can interact with other drugs like heparin and aspirin. As these might be prescribed after a heart attack, the doctor should be clearly asked about use of Plavix at this time. Some painkillers have compounds like Diclofenac, which have a tendency to show negative interactions with Plavix. All these drugs should be avoided.

• Stick to the prescribed dosage. Do not take extra anticoagulants even if you miss a dose.

• These are necessary to avoid serious complications or side effects.

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Blood thinners are anticoagulants that help prevent heart attacks or strokes. Both of these occur due to blockages in the arteries, which clot formation can cause. Anticoagulants such as Plavix prevent clot formation. We discuss the use of blood thinners and examine their side effects.
blood thinners,heart attack,stroke,side effects,anticoagulant,plavix
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 11:24 PM
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