Anti-clotting medicines

Antithrombotics

Anti-clotting (antithrombotic) medicines include anticoagulant medicines (e.g. warfarin) and antiplatelet medicines (e.g. low-dose aspirin). These medicines are used to prevent and treat blood clots, but work in different ways.

You may be prescribed an anti-clotting medicine to prevent or treat blood clots if you have had a stroke or heart attack, or if you have just been diagnosed with a condition that increases your risk of blood clots and stroke — such as atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart beat). Some anti-clotting medicines are prescribed after surgery to prevent blood clots during your recovery.

Like any medicines, there are possible risks and benefits associated with anti-clotting medicines, so learning all you can about using your medicines safely and correctly will help you make any necessary adjustments to your lifestyle and get the most benefit from your medicines.

Find out more about anticoagulant medicines including warfarin, and antiplatelet medicines including low-dose aspirin.

For health professionals  

  • The NPS Medicinewise educational program Oral anticoagulants — achieving good anticoagulant practice focusses on optimal use of warfarin and the newer oral anticoagulants dabigatran, rivaroxaban and apixaban (see program Key messages).
  • Recent NPS RADAR articles have discussed the evidence behind use of:
    dabigatran and rivaroxaban for preventing stroke and systemic embolism in people with non-valvular AF
    dabigatran, rivaroxaban and apixaban for preventing venous thromboembolism after hip or knee replacement surgery
    rivaroxaban for treating deep venous thromboebolism.

Related information - anti-clotting medicines

Audience:
       

(Medical test)
16 May 2014 The PT test is a liver function test. The blood test checks how well clot-preventing medicines (anti-coagulants) such as warfarin are working, and investigates the clotting tendency of blood, liver damage and vitamin K status. Find out more
For health professionals (Tool / resource)
15 Jan 2014 Use this interactive decision tool with patients who are starting oral anticoagulants.
For health professionals (Tool / resource)
02 Aug 2013 A decision tool for use with patients who are continuing on warfarin
(Medicine)
19 Jul 2013 Interactions with other medicines can increase your risk of bleeding with rivaroxaban or cause other side effects. Learn about which medicines interact.
(Medicine)
19 Jul 2013 Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) is an anti-clotting medicine. Find out about your medicine choices for preventing DVTs after hip or knee surgey, or to prevent stroke if you have atrial fibrillation.
For health professionals (Tool / resource)
16 Jul 2013 A decision tool for use with patients who are changing between anticoagulants
(Condition)
25 Jun 2013 Stroke is caused by a loss of blood flow to areas of the brain, and can cause permanent damage or death. Find out about risk factors, symptoms, & how to prevent some stroke types with anti-clotting medicines.
For health professionals (Tool / resource)
25 Jun 2013 A decision tool for use with patients who are continuing on warfarin
(Condition)
18 Jun 2013 Atrial fibrillation is treated with anti-clotting medicines (e.g. warfarin) to reduce the risk of stroke. Find out what medicines are used and which one is right for you.
(Condition)
14 Jun 2013 Stroke is caused by a loss of blood flow to areas of the brain, and can cause permanent damage or death. Find out who is at risk of stroke.