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 ?
The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine Practitioners issued a consensus statement in 2002 listing various anticoagulant drugs, such as heparin, warfarin, and the LMWHs, and discussing management of treated patients both before and after surgery to prevent bleeding risks (Horlocker et al., 2003).
The market report looks at factors such as the growing adoption of POC testing devices, significant consumption of anticoagulant drugs, and rising demand for coagulation monitoring in preoperative and postoperative screening.
The safe use of oral anticoagulant drugs and the satisfaction of the individual in this regard affect attitude towards drug use.
These results show that patient self-assessment of oral anticoagulant drugs has remained changeable, although of good proof of their effectiveness.
The most common question asked in past few years on antiplate- let and anticoagulant drugs is their influence on perioperative and postoperative bleeding.
There are a number of oral anticoagulant drugs to choose from.
The success of the approach used in COMPASS became possible with the introduction of the new oral anticoagulant drugs. Now that this class of agents has been available for a few years, clinicians have grown increasingly comfortable with them, compared with warfarin.
Dr Jarvis says: "Aspirin thins the blood, so if you are on anticoagulant drugs, such as warfarin, or you suffer from haemophilia, this will increase your risk of bleeding."
In the last few years, the FDA has a new class of oral anticoagulant drugs. Although their safety profile appears better than the old standby--Coumadin (warfarin)--all three of the new medicines are blood thinners that can cause excessive bleeding and are to be used with caution in patients with kidney disease.
In clinical practice, it may be best to choose between available anticoagulant drugs on a case-by-case basis [26].

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