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Anticoagulants are “blood thinners”. They make it harder for clots to form, and help keep existing clots from getting bigger. It is important to follow physician’s instructions when taking the medication and have blood tests regularly so the doctor can tell how well the medicine is working.

Be sure to tell all your health care providers that you’re taking anticoagulants and don’t take aspirin with them unless your doctor tells you to. In fact, when you’re on anticoagulants, you should check with your doctor before taking any other medications—even over the counter medications—and food supplements. Certain medications and foods can alter the effectiveness and safety of anticoagulants by strengthening or weakening them.

Anticoagulants can cause problems. Tell your doctor if any of these issues occur:

  • Your urine turns pink or red
  • Your stools turn red, dark brown or black
  • You bleed more than normal during menstruation
  • Your gums bleed
  • You get a very bad headache or stomach pain that doesn’t go away
  • You get sick or feel weak, faint or dizzy
  • You think you’re pregnant
  • You often find bruises or blood blisters on your body
  • You have an accident of any kind