Related terms: anticoagulants, antiplatelet therapy, blood-thinning medicines, aspirin, blood clots
Blood thinners reduce your risk for heart attack, stroke, and blockages in your arteries and veins by preventing clumps of blood (blood clots) from forming or growing.
There are 2 main types of blood thinners:
- Anticoagulants work on chemical reactions in your body to lengthen the time it takes to form a blood clot. Decreased clotting keeps fewer harmful blood clots from forming and blocking blood vessels.
- Antiplatelets are a group of medicines that stop blood cells called platelets from sticking together and forming a blood clot. Aspirin is one kind of antiplatelet therapy.
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American Stroke Association
Anti-Clotting Agents Explained
Updated October 2013