There are medicines that can thin blood, making it less likely to clot. Some people with thrombophilia only need to take blood thinning medications when they have an increased risk factor such as surgery, trauma, pregnancy, or long plane rides or extended car trips. Other people with thrombophilia need to take medicine for the rest of their lives.
The two most common blood thinning medications are heparin and warfarin. Usually, your doctor will give you heparin first, because heparin works right away. Heparin comes in two forms and if you are in the hospital, you may get your heparin through an IV. At home, heparin must be injected under the skin. After being on heparin for the time suggested by your doctor, you might start taking warfarin. Warfarin is taken by mouth and takes longer to begin working so you should continue the heparin until the warfarin is working effectively. There are other treatment regimen that have a safer adverse effect profile such as enoxaparin sodium, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and others that our treatment center may prescribe to patients based on the needs and evaluation of the patient.
These medications can cause you to bleed more easily. You might notice that cuts take longer to clot and that you may bruise more easily. If you have any unusual bleeding, call your doctor right away.
- Avoid standing or sitting in the same position for long periods of time, such as in long car or plane rides
- Avoid oral birth control or hormone therapy (consult physician)
- Consult your physician before becoming pregnant
- Exercise regularly, for instance walking, jogging, and swimming, and keep your weight at a normal level
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid alcohol
- Keep well hydrated
- Check your cholesterol regularly
- Consult your physician when you have an infection and are on medications
- Prevent venous stasis by wearing compression stockings or elevating legs