First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > Blood Thinners Other Than Warfarin: Taking Them Safely
Blood thinners are medicines that help prevent blood clots. Although they are called blood thinners, they don't really thin the blood. They slow down the time it takes for a blood clot to form.
You have to be careful when you take blood thinner medicines. They can raise the risk of serious bleeding. But you can do some simple things to help prevent problems.
This Actionset is about all blood thinner medicinesexcept warfarin (Coumadin). There are some extra steps you have to take if you take warfarin. To learn more, see Warfarin: Taking Your Medicine Safely.
You can take blood thinner medicine safely by taking a few steps:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if you have:
If you are injured, apply pressure to stop bleeding. Realize that it will take longer than you are used to for the bleeding to stop. If you can't get the bleeding to stop, call your doctor.
Give your list of medicines to every doctor and dentist who treats you. Taking certain medicines along with a blood thinner can cause bleeding. It also can change how well your medicines work.
To avoid problems:
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant, talk with your doctor. You and your doctor will decide what medicines are safe for you during pregnancy. Do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to.
To learn more about taking aspirin safely, see Aspirin to Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke.
Talk with your doctor about whether you need to stop taking your blood thinner for a short time before any surgery or medical or dental procedure. Your doctor will tell you when it is safe to start taking your medicine again.
If you have a high risk of falling, make these changes in your life to prevent falls:
Make these changes in your home to prevent falls:
To prevent injuries, be careful with your activities:
Other Works Consulted
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2010). Blood Thinner Pills: Your Guide to Using Them Safely (AHRQ Publication No. 09-0086-C). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Available online: http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/btpills.htm.
Current as ofJuly 22, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Current as of:
July 22, 2018
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
131 E. Market St.
Smithfield, NC 27577
1505 SW Cary Parkway
REX Healthcare of Cary, Suite 210
Cary, NC 27511
2076 NC Highway 42 W.
Johnston Professional Plaza, Suite 100
Clayton, NC 27520
781 Avent Ferry Road
REX Healthcare of Holly Springs, Suite 212
Holly Springs, NC 27540
4414 Lake Boone Trail
REX Medical Plaza, Suite 108
Raleigh, NC 27607
UNC REX Healthcare 4420 Lake Boone Trail Raleigh, NC 27607, USA 919-784-3100
Chosen for Excellence
Co-Worker & Physician Login
Rex Connects Blog
Copyright 2019 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.