The role of anticoagulants ;when is it needed?

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The human being needs free flow of blood in the system in order for the effective and efficient functioning of the body. This suggests that there are moments when the free flow of blood in the vessels is hindered by one factor or the other, the aversion of this critical situation is the concern of anticoagulant.

Put simply, anticoagulants are medicines that allow the free flow of blood in the body. It is medicine that prevents blood from clotting as quickly or as effectively as normal.

 

Uses
It is used to treat blood clots Prevention of blood clots Blood clots can block blood vessels (an artery or a vein). A blocked artery stops blood and oxygen from getting to a part of your body (for example, to a part of the heart, brain or lungs).

Problems associated with blood clots
Stroke resulting from a blocked, damaged and dead artery Heart attack as a result of blocked, damaged and dead artery Pulmonary embolism arising from a deep vein thrombosis

 

Common Anticoagulants
Warfarin, acenocoumarol, phenindione,dabigatran, apixaban and rivaroxaban, however, they have varying brand names. Although, aspirin’s effect in preventing clots is by preventing platelets sticking together, however, it is regarded as an antiplatelet agent rather than an anticoagulant..
Most people who need an anticoagulant are prescribed warfarin. However, the newer anticoagulant medicines (dabigatran, apixaban and rivaroxaban) are being increasingly used. Dabigatran, apixaban and rivaroxaban have a number of advantages over warfarin, although they still have similar kinds of side-effects.

 

Reasons for clotted blood
Immediately a cut occurs in a blood vessel, the damaged tissue causes tiny cells in the blood (platelets) to become sticky and clump together around the cut. These activated platelets and the damaged tissue release chemicals which react with other chemicals and proteins in the blood, called clotting factors. There are 13 known clotting factors.
In a situation where there is a blood within a blood vessel, it could cause serious problems. In this instance, the body also has chemicals in the blood that prevent clots from forming and the one that dissolve the clots. There also exist a balance between forming and preventing clots. Naturally, except a blood vessel is damaged or cut, the balance always is in favour of preventing clots forming within blood vessels. However, sometimes a clot forms within a blood vessel that has not been injured or cut.

 

Anticoagulants working mechanism
Anticoagulants block the effects of vitamin K which is needed to make some clotting factors worked. This blocking makes vitamin K prevents blood clots forming so easily by increasing the time it takes to make fibrin. It usually takes two or three days for these medicines to work fully. They also prevent a blood chemical called thrombin from working, which in turn prevents fibrin from being made from fibrinogen.

 

When to use anticoagulants?
It is mainly used when there is a blood clot to prevent the clot from increasing, or in case you are at risk of having a blood clot. People with irregular heartbeat, mechanical heart valve, endocarditis, mitral stenosis, blood disorder, hip or knee replacement through surgery .



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