How can you self-manage and adjust anticoagulants in the long term?
Anti-clotting tablets (oral anticoagulants) are used to stop the blood from clotting too quickly. The aim is to lower the risk of cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) diseases, especially strokes. They are often prescribed for people who have atrial fibrillation, artificial heart valves or people who have had pulmonary embolism.
Various anticoagulant tablets are available. Vitamin K antagonists are commonly used. They’re also known as coumarins. In Germany, the most frequently used drug from that group is phenprocoumon. It is best known under the trade name Marcumar, but also as Falithrom and Phenprogramma.
Vitamin K antagonists slow down the blood-clotting process. The clotting ability of the blood has to be monitored regularly in order to adapt the dose of the medication if necessary: It should be high enough to prevent blood clots – but low enough to minimize the risk of serious bleeding.