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What Is an Anticoagulant Injection?

By Jay Leone
Updated May 17, 2024
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Anticoagulant injections help treat blood clots and prevent blood from clotting. Injectable anticoagulants are employed to treat several conditions and can take the place of anticoagulant pills in many cases. They are often given to people undergoing major surgery and people who have major heart issues. While they do not actually thin the blood, anticoagulant injections are often referred to as blood thinners.

Some conditions commonly treated with an anticoagulant injection include abnormal heart rhythm and blood clots in the lungs, veins, and arteries of the brain. These injections are often used to deal with arterial blockages in the heart. People with certain other heart problems may also benefit from these injections.

Both adults and children can use an anticoagulant injection to treat blood clots. The standard injection regimen for adults involves a daily dose of between two and five milligrams anticoagulant for up to four days. Doses can be adjusted depending on condition and blood test results. A doctor can decide the best regimen for a particular child.

Injectable anticoagulants are often administered to people before a major operation such as open-heart surgery, bypass surgery, or kidney dialysis. They help reduce the damage of a heart attack or stroke and can help prevent future heart attacks and strokes. These injections can improve blood flow after a heart attack and are often administered as part of long-term treatment plans after a heart attack.

While some level of bruising at the injection site is common, excessive bruising could indicate a problem. The most common side effect associated with an anticoagulant injection is excessive bleeding. The likelihood of bleeding excessively following these injections increases in people over 65 years old and people with a history of gastrointestinal bleeding.

The risk of severe bleeding on anticoagulants is very low. Abnormal bleeding from the nose or gums, increased menstrual bleeding, and bleeding from the bowels are all rare symptoms linked with anticoagulant injections. When blood does not clot properly, the risk of hemorrhage greatly increases. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms should contact a doctor immediately.

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