Blood Thinners for treating Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep Vein Thrombosis is a condition that develops due to the presence of blood clots in the deep veins. DVT most commonly appears in the legs and if left untreated can cause more severe, life threatening conditions like a pulmonary embolism. Blood thinners, which are also known as anti-platelet drugs or anti-coagulants, decrease the ability of your blood to form a clot thereby acting in the prevention of future clots. Blood thinners are unable to break up clots that are already present within your veins, but they are able to prevent existing clots from becoming larger.

Blood thinners are available in both injectable and pill form. Often, a full treatment method utilizing blood thinners will use a combination of the two forms of medication that are available. The injectable form of blood thinner is called Heparin, and the pill form of the medication is called Warfarin. In most cases, treatment with blood thinners begins with Heparin injections. After several days of receiving the anticoagulant in the injectable form, you will be permitted to shift to Warfarin and receive the medication in pill form. The total length of time that you will receive either of these medications is dependent upon Dr. Perry and his recommendations.

For many patients, Heparin injections are administered via an IV in a hospital setting, though Heparin is now also available in an injectable solution that can be self-administered at home once or twice every day. This new outpatient process for Heparin makes this a much more viable option for many patients that previously would have found Heparin too inconvenient for daily use. This form of medication is much more consistent and predictable than was previously available, and therefore it reduces the need for regular blood tests.

Warfarin treatment is administered through the daily consumption of a pill. Many patients begin taking Warfarin while still receiving Heparin treatments. Treatment with Warfarin lasts longer than Heparin, often lasting from three to six months, but ultimately the length of time that will be recommended for you will depend on the medical opinion of Dr. Perry. Warfarin treatment requires regular blood tests so that your physician can monitor how long it takes for your blood to clot.

When receiving any form of blood thinner medication it is important that you closely follow your physician’s instructions. Taking too high of a quantity of blood thinners could lead to an increased risk of bleeding. Taking too little of the medication may not fully treat your Deep Vein Thrombosis, and could lead to an increased risk of developing blood clots. As a precaution, women that are pregnant should not take Warfarin as it could cause birth defects.

If you would like more information regarding blood thinners and treatment for Deep Vein Thrombosis in Acworth, Woodstock, Canton, Calhoun, Dallas or Cartersville, Georgia, then contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Perry.