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In general terms, an anticoagulant is a substance which reduces the potential of the blood to coagulate while at the same time fluidifying it. The purpose of anticoagulation is to prevent the formation or development of blood clots, thrombi. These are liable to cause thrombosis (or embolism) in the lung or brain.

This family of medicines is prescribed in different situations. They are prescribed to patients suffering from heart problems - atrial fibrillation, atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries - or blood vessels such as after a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). They are also prescribed if a person is at risk of a DVT or, for example, following a myocardial infarction.

Anticoagulants can also be prescribed for prevention. For example, to patients who are immobilised after a leg fracture or surgical operation. In this case, the purpose is to prevent deep vein thrombosis developing.

The different classes of anticoagulants

- The oral anticoagulants:

- The injectable anticoagulants include :

Source : Interview with Dr Yannick Béjot, (CHU de Dijon), 15 June 2011

Anticoagulants to fluidify the blood. © Phovoir Anticoagulants to fluidify the blood. © Phovoir

Anticoagulant - 1 Photo


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