If you’ve been told by your general practitioner that you are at high risk for blood clots, or if you’ve had a blood clot in the past, you may be prescribed blood thinners. About 2-3 million people take blood thinners each year. Of course, these medications do come with certain precautions and it’s important that people fully understand these precautions to prevent unwanted complications and issues.
Why Blood Thinners Are Used
Blood-thinning medications or anticoagulants are medications that prevent blood clots from forming. This helps the blood move better through the veins and arteries. Blood thinners are most often prescribed to reduce someone’s risk for a heart attack.
It’s important that you talk with your doctor about any supplements or medications you are currently taking to make sure they don’t interact with your blood thinners. Your doctor may recommend you stop taking certain supplements or may need to change other medications you are taking.
How to Take Blood Thinners
It’s important to discuss this medication and its instructions with your general doctor. Your doctor may recommend that you take your blood thinners at the same time every day. It’s important that you don’t skip a dose; however, if you do miss your dose, do not double up.
Some Medications Can Cause Interactions
It’s important to know that certain over-the-counter medications can interact with blood thinners, even common everyday medications such as Advil, Aleve, Tylenol, and certain vitamins such as certain multivitamins or Ginkgo biloba can cause interactions, so make sure to provide your doctor with a full list of medications, vitamins, and supplements that you are currently taking.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Once you start taking blood thinners you need to be extra careful that you don’t cut yourself or do anything that could cause injury. If you hit your head or have a bad fall, you must seek immediate medical attention to make sure there is no internal bleeding. You will also need to avoid most physical activities and contact sports that could lead to injury. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to exercise such as taking a walk or swimming.
Do you have questions about taking blood thinners? If so, your general doctor would be happy to answer any questions you might have or provide you with guidance regarding any new medications that you may be concerned about.