Anticoagulants

Will this affect my periods? Will anticoagulants make me bleed more?

Anticoagulants may make you bleed more and can lead to changing menstrual products every 2 hours or less and often subsequent iron deficiency anemia.

If I suspect a new clot, should I take anticoagulants until I can seek medical attention?

No. Contact your doctor to make sure it is a clot. Anticoagulants prevent clotting, but can cause serious bleeding, so they should not be taken without a doctor’s exam and order.

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Are there any natural remedies for blood clots?

No, focus on prevention and staying active. Take steps to maintain a healthy weight, walk aisles on airplanes, and do not sit too long when driving an automobile. Read more about blood clot prevention.

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Can I replace prescribed anticoagulants with Nattokinase?

Nattokinase has not been approved by the FDA, and contrary to claims on the internet, it should not take the place of an anticoagulant. While one study shows that a nattokinase supplement lowers the risk of blood clots after long plane flights, optimal doses of nattokinase have not been set for any condition. Quality and active ingredients in supplements may vary widely from maker to maker. This makes it very hard to set a standard dose. It is advised to steer clear of this product for now.

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How safe are herbal medicines?

They are fine in moderation and are unlikely to contribute to bleeding, however they are not vetted by the FDA. It is important to be very cautious taking them alongside anticoagulants. Over the counter medications like gingko, ginseng, vitamin E, fish oil can all potentiate anticoagulants (make them more powerful).

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Should I wear a medical alert ID bracelet?

Wearing a medical alert ID bracelet can be a good idea so that those helping you in case of an emergency will know that you are on an anticoagulant.

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What are the signs of “hidden” bleeding?

Headache is the most serious sign of hidden bleeding, but you may also notice blood within the stool or urine.

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What is the biggest risk with anticoagulants?

Some side effects of anticoagulants are bleeding and bruising – so be careful with blood trauma and hitting your head, knee, etc. If you have hemorrhoids, you might bleed more.

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What is home monitoring for warfarin?

Similar to a home device to prick your finger to measure glucose, home monitoring for warfarin consists of a small device used to measure your INR with a finger stick as opposed to going to the lab and having blood drawn from a vein in your arm.

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What is an INR?

International Normalized Ratio (INR) is the specific blood test used to measure the time it takes for blood to form a blood clot. This is called a prothrombin time test, or protime (PT). The PT is reported as the International Normalized Ratio (INR). The INR is a calculation based on results of a PT test and is used to monitor individuals who are being treated with the anticoagulation medication warfarin. INR tests are used instead of the PT because the INR is corrected for the strength of your blood clotting tissue. INR is also used to standardize the method used across all labs to lead to the most accurate results.
  • If a person’s INR is too low, blood clots may not be prevented
  • If a person’s INR is too high, they may experience uncontrolled or dangerous bleeding.

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