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Medications

Anti Platelet and Anticoagulants - Clopidgrel (Plavix) and Heparin

Anti-platelets are drugs that help prevent tiny cells in the blood called platelets from clumping together to form blood clots in veins and arteries. When you get an external cut or wound, blood clots together in order to prevent further bleeding by forming what is commonly referred to as a scab. Likewise, in arteries, blood may clot to block the blood flow which may cause heart attacks or strokes. In order to prevent the complications from occurring, the drug makes the platelets less cohesive or less sticky, so that they are less likely to produce clots and blood is able to flow normally.

Anticoagulants work similarly to anti platelet medication. The anticoagulants prevent the formation of a clot by blocking certain clotting factors in the body. It is also used to prevent the clot from being dislodged.  When a blood clot dislodges it is known as an embolus. An embolus can travel to different parts of the body and cause heart attacks or strokes because it stops blood flow in that area.

People who are prescribed with anti-platelet drugs should carefully monitor injuries that might occur from any activity involving cutting yourself such as shaving or flossing. It is important to monitor for abnormal bleeding or bruising.