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.
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anticoagulant

[¦an·tē‚kō′ag·yə·lənt]
(pharmacology)
An agent, such as sodium citrate, that prevents coagulation of a colloid, especially blood.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

anticoagulant

1. acting to prevent or impair coagulation, esp of blood
2. an agent, such as warfarin, that prevents or impairs coagulation
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Conclusion: Anti-coagulants were more effective in secondary stroke prevention in cryptogenic stroke as compared to anti-platelets at one year, provided no contraindications were present to either.
Friberg noted, "Doctors should not tell their patients to stop using oral anti-coagulants without a really good reason.
When performing bioanalytical test procedures, it is important to choose wisely when considering parameters such as the sampling tubes, anti-coagulant used, the test conditions, the sample processing times prior to the test, and the sample processing and test methods used.
While current guidelines recommend interruption of anti-coagulant therapy with heparin bridging to reduce thromboembolic and bleeding risk during surgery,6 there is conflicting evidence which suggests that heparin bridging therapy may not only increase bleeding risk,13,15-18 but that warfarin continuation during CRD implantation may be safe.9,11-14
People metabolize warfarin at different rates, making it necessary to repeatedly check a patient's clotting ability to reduce the risk of excessive bleeding while maintaining an effective anti-coagulant level.
A NEW home-testing device that will allow patients taking anti-coagulant drugs to check their own blood will soon be on the market thanks to a PS2m investment.
She is expected to remain at New York Presbyterian Hospital for the next 48 hours so doctors can monitor her condition and treat her with anti-coagulants, said Philippe Reines, deputy assistant secretary of state.
Some of the topics which will be covered in the programme include How Aspirin Works, its historical perspective, Aspirin versus other anti-platelet agents, update on heparin and oral anti-coagulants, role of Aspirin in cardiovascular diseases, in neurological disorders, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynaecology, ophthalmology, diabetes and various forms of cancer especially colon cancer.
Note: Because garlic is a powerful anti-coagulant (prevents bloodclotting), don't take it in large amounts if you have a clotting disorder, and consult with your health care practitioner if you take anti-coagulants, such as Coumadin, or therapeutic doses of aspirin.
Speaking before the hearing, he said: "International guidelines all say that patients should be given anti-coagulants to avoid the risk of a clot.
They review efforts to coat implant material with biological anti-coagulants such as heparin, or anti-fouling molecules like polyethylene oxide.