Blood Thinners

Greetings everyone!

I would like to welcome you to a segment called “Pharmacy Chit-Chat”. Today, we will be talking about blood thinners!

I am sure some of you are wondering why there is a need to thin your blood. If you have had a stroke, blood clot in your leg, or a heart problem, your doctor may have put you on a blood thinner. The goal of the blood thinner is to help you from getting any blood clots.

“What are some common blood thinners?”

Some commonly used blood thinners are: warfarin (Coumadin), dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), apixaban (Eliquis), edoxaban (Savasaya), and clopidogrel (Plavix). While there may seem to be a long list of blood thinners, they all work to prevent blood clots.

“What do I need to know when taking a blood thinner?”

Blood thinners prevent blood clots by thinning the blood.

  • While taking a blood thinner it’s a good idea to check with your doctor and/or pharmacists before taking any over-the-counter medicines.
  • When you are having minor pain (e.g., headache, toothache, stomach cramps), acetaminophen (Tylenol) is recommended when taking blood thinners.
  • Due to your blood being thin, it may take longer than normal to stop a cut from bleeding. It is recommended to use a soft bristle toothbrush if bleeding gums occur.
  • If you hit your head while on a blood thinner, go to you nearest emergency room to be checked for any bleeding in the head.
  • Contact your doctor if you have brown urine or dark stool.
  • If you miss a dose, take as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time and do not take a missed dose if it’s too close to the next day.
  • Tell your doctor and/or dentist that you are on a blood thinner before any dental procedures or surgeries.

“I heard some blood thinners you have to take with meals?”

The blood thinner known as rivaroxaban (Xarelto) should be taken with food. When you don’t take it with food, the drug does not work as well. Other blood thinners can be taken with or without food.

“Why do I have to go to the doctor every week while I am on Coumadin?”

Warfarin (Coumadin) is a blood thinner that is monitored closely by a trained health care provider. The patient will have weekly or monthly scheduled visits to make sure the drug is working. When on warfarin, it is good to eat the same foods you would eat daily and not make changes to the amount of foods like green, leafy vegetables. The key is to keep your diet consistent! Talk to your doctor before any new changes in your meals.

If you have any questions about your medicines, including blood thinners, please stop by the pharmacy or call us at (803) 791-7043 and we would be happy to help!