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Deep Vein Thrombosis – Medications

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"Let's talk about some of the medications we use to treat DVT. The class of medications we use are called blood thinners. The first blood thinner we had in the past was called Coumadin or warfarin. This medication makes the blood thin. This medication directly antagonizes vitamin K. So it's advised not to have any foods that contain high quantities of vitamin K. If you're placed on Coumadin or warfarin, you will need to have your blood periodically checked to make sure the levels of this medication are sufficient in the body. Typically, once you find a steady state, you could check your blood every few months. In the beginning, it may require more frequent checks. Side effects of this medication include excessive bleeding, difficulties with maintaining the adequate diet to make the levels sufficient, side effects with medications that you were already on or could be on in the future. This might not be the first choice medication for certain patients. It's very important to discuss with your doctor this medication to see if it's right for you. If this is not the right medication, there's another class of medications called NOACs or DOACs. These are newer medications that don't have the side effect profile as Coumadin. These medications also thin the blood, but you don't need to maintain dietary restrictions. They have lower bleeding side effects as well, but some of these medications don't have a reversal in case you do have a bleeding episode. These medications also would need to be stopped if you were having any procedures, such as dental cleaning, or surgeries that are upcoming. So it's important to discuss with your doctor if these medications will be right for you, because you will be on them for a significant amount of time, up to six months."

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