• Loading results...
  • text 1
  • text 2
Please enter a valid search term

Medications to prevent or treat blood clots and stroke include blood thinners, also called anticoagulants.

Blood thinners work by reducing the ability of the blood to clot. But as with all medications, blood thinners have side effects. In preventing blood clots from forming, there is also a higher chance for bleeding in some people. Usually, the bleeding is minor – for example, bruising more easily, or having a nosebleed or cut that takes longer to stop bleeding. However, some bleeding can be serious.

For many patients, the benefits of taking a blood thinner far outweigh the risk of bleeding, according to cardiologists. Even when bleeding does occur, it can usually be managed and is rarely life-threatening.

But research and clinical experience suggest that many patients – and even some clinicians – may worry more about the possibility of uncontrolled bleeding when taking a blood thinner than on the benefit of stroke prevention. It’s important to put these risks in context.

  • Last Edited 11/30/2023