There are various heart medications that are used to help lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, prevent blood clots, and to treat heart failure. The purpose of many of the most common heart medications is to prevent blood clots, but there are still several varieties of these medications.
Here are the most commonly used medications used to prevent blood clots:
- Aspirin: If you have heart disease, the anti-clotting and anti-platelet properties of Aspirin can help keep the arteries open and the blood flowing. Developed in the 1960s, this medication can be used for patients who already have heart disease, but isn’t necessary for patients with just risks.
- Clopidogrel: This medication is often prescribed at the same time as Aspirin. It is often used for patients with stents, but consider talking with your cardiologist about an increased risk of bleeding.
- Warfarin: Also known as Coumadin, this medication is stronger than Aspirin and Clopidogrel. Doctors will often prescribe this when patients who have atrial fibrillation, artificial heart valves, and get blood clots in veins in the legs.
FAQ About Blood Thinners
As you’re talking with your Stockton cardiologist, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions. If you need any more information or want to schedule an appointment, get in touch with the team at Stockton Cardiology Medical Group.
What food should I eat if I’m taking Warfarin, Coumadin, or Jantoven?
There is a lot of buzz surrounding a supposed “Warfarin diet.” There isn’t a specific diet that needs to be followed, however, certain foods can reduce the effectiveness of the medication. The biggest nutrient that users should be aware of vitamin K. Patients don’t need to limit vitamin K completely, but simply be aware of how much they consume each day. Women can get 90 micrograms and men can get 120 micrograms a day. Consume only small amounts of these foods and drinks:
- Brussel sprouts
- Green tea
- Cranberry juice
Can I still get blood clots when using blood thinners?
While blood thinning medication will significantly reduce the risk, there is still a chance of developing blood clots. These medications should be taken exactly as they are prescribed in order for them to be as effective as possible — too little and it won’t be effective, too much and it can lead to serious bleeding. Let your cardiologist know if there are any changes in your diet or if you are taking any supplements or other drugs.
How long do I need to be on blood thinning medications?
This will depend on the location of the clot, the cause of the clot, if there is a risk of developing clots in the future, and how well your body handled being on the blood thinner. Typically, a short-term treatment can be as little as three months. After this time period has passed, consult with your cardiologist to determine if another three months is necessary.
These are just a few common questions we get, but if you have others, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. It is essential that the directions are followed exactly in order to prevent more serious bleeding issues.
Stockton Cardiology Medical Group has locations in Stockton, Tracy, Manteca, and San Andreas and we also offer a Coumadin Clinic. If you need to consult with a knowledgeable and compassionate physician, schedule an appointment with our team.