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 ?
Several new blood thinners have become available in the last few years--but for many people, warfarin (Coumadin[R]), which was first approved in the U.S.
Until then, you may want to use such natural blood thinners as vitamin E, gingko biloba, and garlic.
When deciding whether to put you on a blood thinner your physician needs to assess your risks of having a blood clot and stroke relative to your bleeding risk.
Two weeks after twins Thomas Boone and Zoe Grace were born (via a surrogate) in November 2007, the hospital mistakenly gave a massive overdose of the blood thinner Heparin, which nearly killed them.
Reader: I have atrial fibrillation and am on a beta blocker, a statin, and blood thinner called Coumadin.
The results are intriguing, says Sasisekharan, especially since there have been some hints in the tests of heparin that the blood thinner may reduce mortality in cancer patients.
If you've already had a problem associated with clotting, you may be taking a blood thinner like Coumadin in addition to aspirin.
"We consider several patient characteristics when prescribing a blood thinner, primarily kidney function.
If you are taking a blood thinner like warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), dabigatran (Pradaxa), or apixaban (Eliquis), you should not take a garlic supplement.
generic competition will start slashing sales of the $6 billion-a-year blood thinner, the world's second-best-selling drug.