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Anticoagulant medicines

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Introduction
Anticoagulant medicines reduce the ability of the blood to clot. If the blood clots too much, blood clots can form, which can lead to conditions such as a stroke.
How anticoagulants work
Anticoagulant medicines work by interrupting part of the process involved in the formation of blood clots.
When anticoagulants are needed
Anticoagulant medicines are used if your blood is clotting too quickly. When this happens, blood clots can form in the wrong places.
Considerations
If you are prescribed anticoagulant medicines, always follow the instructions of your GP or other healthcare professionals.
Side effects
A side effect common to all anticoagulants is the risk of excessive bleeding (haemorrhages) due to clots take too long to form.
Interactions with other medicines
Anticoagulant medicines can interact with a wide range of other medication. This might stop the anticoagulant medicine working or increase the effect.