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 ?
Although no anticoagulant therapy was undertaken, the thrombus disappeared when the platelet count dropped to about 50 x 10[sup.
presented cases of hemorrhage in the femoral area, which developed during anticoagulant therapy following knee surgery with a subsequent application of decompression (12).
A cost-saving method for monitoring oral warfarin anticoagulant therapy.
The syndrome of retroperitoneal hemorrhage and lumbar plexus neuropathy during anticoagulant therapy.
The researchers concluded that withholding anticoagulant therapy was not feasible and that more studies should concentrate on reducing the risk of bleeding.
No complications associated with the device were seen in any of the patients after more than 6 months of followup, and the researchers are hopeful that it will serve as an alternative to chronic anticoagulant therapy.
The goal of anticoagulant therapy with warfarin is to administer the lowest effective dose of the drug to maintain the target international normalized ratio (INR).
The AvoSure PT-Pro provides efficient monitoring of patients on oral anticoagulant therapy to the doctor's office or home healthcare nurse where high-quality prothrombin time test results are needed in a timely manner.
Medicate administrative data were used to identify five outcome measures: noninvasive cerebrovascular tests, cerebral angiography, carotid endarterectomy, anticoagulant therapy (as proxied by outpatient prothrombin time tests), and the specialty of the attending physician (neurologist versus other specialist).
The unique evidence of thrombosis was a low-degree paresthesia of both legs while the patient was receiving anticoagulant therapy; when the condition developed, anticoagulant therapy was increased.
While physicians have known that anticoagulant therapy helps to prevent some types of strokes, the finding, announced on Sept.

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