How Anticoagulants Work

How Anticoagulants Work

Sep 04

There has been a lot of attention focused on anticoagulants (blood thinners), mostly because of their serious and sometimes fatal side effects, but few really understand why anticoagulants are even prescribed when there is a risk of harm.

Anticoagulants are central to the prevention of strokes for the at-risk patient. This means people who have a high tendency to develop blood clots that could dislodge and cause a stroke, such as those with atrial fibrillation, are prime candidates for an anticoagulant prescription such as warfarin, which has been the standard medication since the 1950s, or the newer drugs, the injectable Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) or the oral Xarelto (rivaroxaban).

Anticoagulants do not break up existing clots; rather, they prevent its formation in the first place by inhibiting (blocking) one part or another of the coagulation cascade. It is like placing a finger in one section of a domino show; when the toppling tiles get to that point where the finger is, the show stops. Various drugs target different components of the coagulation process, but it all prevents the production of thrombin, a proteolytic enzyme that triggers the formation of fibrin from fibrinogen. It all sounds complicated and it is, but suffice it to say that anticoagulants keep the blood fluid by keeping clotting factors at bay. Anticoagulants can be dangerous if administered improperly, and should only be taken under a physician’s supervision.

A common problem of anticoagulant use is bleeding. Blood clots act as stoppers to a ruptured vein or other blood vessel to keep the blood in and facilitate repair of the damaged parts. An anticoagulant in the system will keep the blood from forming these clots. The risk of harm is high, but for some patients, the benefits outweigh the risks. However, there are some anticoagulants that appear to pose a higher risk than is acceptable. According to Xarelto lawyers, the newer anticoagulants lack an effective reversal agent to counteract uncontrollable bleeding, which can lead to fatal consequences.

If you have been seriously injured from using Xarelto despite faithfully following the doctor’s instructions, it may be because the drug is just too dangerous. Consult with Xarelto lawyers in your area for a more thorough understanding of your rights and the drug companies’ liabilities.

1 comment

  1. I really love this style of blog, thanks for writing.

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