anticoagulant

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anticoagulant

(ăn'tēkōăg`yələnt), any of several substances that inhibit blood clot formation (see blood clottingblood clotting,
process by which the blood coagulates to form solid masses, or clots. In minor injuries, small oval bodies called platelets, or thrombocytes, tend to collect and form plugs in blood vessel openings.
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). Some anticoagulants, such as the coumarin derivatives bishydroxycoumarin (Dicumarol) and warfarin (Coumadin) inhibit synthesis of prothrombin, a clot-forming substance, and other clotting factors. The coumarin derivatives compete with vitamin K, which is a necessary substance in prothrombin formation (see vitaminvitamin,
group of organic substances that are required in the diet of humans and animals for normal growth, maintenance of life, and normal reproduction. Vitamins act as catalysts; very often either the vitamins themselves are coenzymes, or they form integral parts of coenzymes.
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). They are only effective after the body's existing supply of prothrombin is depleted. Another anticoagulant, heparin, is a polysaccharide (see carbohydratecarbohydrate,
any member of a large class of chemical compounds that includes sugars, starches, cellulose, and related compounds. These compounds are produced naturally by green plants from carbon dioxide and water (see photosynthesis).
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) found naturally in many cells. It acts in several ways: by preventing prothrombin formation; by preventing formation of fibrin, another clotting substance; and by decreasing the availability of a third clotting factor, thrombin. Heparin is obtained by extracting it from animal tissues. Anticoagulants are used to treat blood clots, which appear especially frequently in veins of the legs and pelvis in bedridden patients. Therapy helps to reduce the risk of clots reaching the lung, heart, or other organs. Heparin causes an instantaneous increase in blood-clotting time, and its effect lasts several hours.

anticoagulant

[¦an·tē‚kō′ag·yə·lənt]
(pharmacology)
An agent, such as sodium citrate, that prevents coagulation of a colloid, especially blood.

anticoagulant

1. acting to prevent or impair coagulation, esp of blood
2. an agent, such as warfarin, that prevents or impairs coagulation
References in periodicals archive ?
8) In our institution; coagulation profile was done only in patients with suspected disease (liver, kidney or bleeding) and for those who were on anticoagulant drugs.
Accordingly, it is important to have exact information about the effects of different anticoagulant drugs on the interpretation of LA tests.
All these trials ended up with non-inferiority of these new anticoagulant drugs compared with warfarin for prevention of stroke and systemic embolism.
While the guidelines advise that the evidence in favour of aspirin in stroke prevention is "weak", they add that a new range of anticoagulant drugs are "broadly preferable" for stroke prevention in AF, but, because experience remains limited, they are recommended within the context of "strict adherence to approved indications".
They focus on providing an comprehensive scientific basis as they cover drug absorption and distribution, drug elimination, pharmacokinetics, drug action and interaction, variability in response, intravenous and inhaled anesthetic agents, local anesthetics, drugs that act on the neuromuscular junction, analgesics, pre-medication and anti-emetic drugs, the effects of drugs on the autonomic nervous system, antihypertensives, antiarrhythmic and antianginal drugs, antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs, fibrinolytic agents, corticosteroids and hypoglycemic agents.
New oral anticoagulant drugs for treating and preventing thrombosis: Newer anticoagulant treatments are being introduced with the goal of curbing complications such as bleeding and thrombosis.
Gradman said Medicare is pressing for clot prevention with the use of anticoagulant drugs such as heparin before surgeries, particularly procedures such as hip and knee replacements that are linked to a higher incidence of DVT.
These patients risk a recurrence even if they've received treatment to dissolve the clot and have taken anticoagulant drugs for weeks or months.
Among other patients with antiphospholipid antibodies, the risk of a new thrombotic event is moderately increased in women with recurrent fetal loss without prior thrombosis (up to 10% per year), and highest in patients with a history of venous thrombosis who have discontinued anticoagulant drugs within 6 months (>10% per year).
Since many elderly people require anticoagulant therapy, every nurse needs to be aware of the dosage, uses, contraindications, peak levels, precautions, and therapeutic lab values for anticoagulant drugs.

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