Blood thinners : drugs that prevent heart attack and stroke

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Blood thinners are drugs that prevent heart attack and stroke by preventing blood clots. There are various types of tablets and injections that are prescribed by Cardiologists for prevention and treatment of clotting causing heart diseases.

Most common are tablets like aspirin , clopidogrel, ticagrelor which are anti platelet medicines. They inhibit platelet activation and action and hence prevent clot and thrombus formation.  They are given to all patient who have or who can suffer from heart attack , angina or brain stroke or even peripheral artery disease. They are very safe and well tolerated.

Another types of blood thinners are drugs like warfarin which are vitamin k antagonist . They inhibit formation of blood clotting proteins in our liver and hence prevent clot formation. These are known as oral anti coagulants and are used very commonly. They are also used in leg and lung thrombus cases and for artificial valve patients. They can cause serious bleeding if proper care and supervision is not there. Recently newer oral anticoagulant drugs ( NOAC ) have been launched which are safer and easier to take and monitor. 

There are many blood thinner injections also like heparin and enoxaparin. These injections are used in hospital settings in serious conditions like heart attack and pulmonary embolism. They again need expert care and guidance. Again newer and better anticoagulant injections are also now available.

Then there are clot buster injections or thrombolytic agents like streptokinase , tenecteplase, reteplase etc. These are used in life threatening heart attacks, stroke or pulmonary embolism cases. These injections are given to break and dissolve the already formed clots which have stopped blood supply.

All these medicines are gifts of modern medicine to mankind and very important means to prevent and treat heart diseases. 

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