Top 10 Blood Thinners Side Effects

Blood Thinners Side Effects

Aspirin has long been a mainstay of preventing abnormal blood clotting. It works by reducing the tendency of platelets to form together when not necessary, and is still considered a treatment option for some people. While aspirin taken daily under doctor’s orders has long been used to help prevent blood clots, it is regularly being passed up in favor of newer and purportedly better prescription medications.

Typically these types of medications are used in people who have had a stroke or heart attack or are more susceptible to same. They can also be used for the treatment of many health conditions, such as those that thicken the blood. Most commonly though, their use is prevention based, for people suffering from conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In the case of DVT, these medications do not serve as a blot clot treatment; rather they are used in an effort to stave off further coagulation activity in the blood.

New blood thinning drugs are appearing in rapid succession as the incidence of heart disease and other cardiovascular illnesses continue to rise. Some of them like Clopidogrel (marketed under the brand name Plavix), continue to be some of the top selling prescription medications in the United States. But blood thinners side effects can make the daily use of the medications problematic for some. And, in the case of serious and rare adverse reactions such as Clopidogrel side effects like hemorrhaging, these negative reactions to the blood thinning drugs can be quite serious. While each medication has its own list of adverse occurrences with Coumadin side effects being some of the most notable, there are some that appear as potential reactions in the large majority of medications used to thin the blood. We have compiled a list of the top ten blood thinners side effects that you should consider discussing with your health care provider before taking them to ensure that you fully understand both the benefits and the risks associated with the medication.

  1. Excessive Bleeding: The very most common of all blood thinners side effects is excessive bleeding. This can mean that cuts that normally would cease bleeding rather quickly do not. Additionally, some users can encounter nose bleeds as a result of some of these types of medications. It is important to note that the risk of bleeding is even further increased when certain natural blood thinners are taken with these medications, such as fish oil. And as such, these natural treatment options should be discussed with a health care provider beforehand.
  2. Heavier Menstrual Flow: There are many things that can affect the monthly cycle of menstruation in women, but taking blood thinner medications is one of them. It is not uncommon for an increase in flow to exist when medications like Coumadin or Plavix are being taken.
  3. Bruising: Both a tendency to bruise easier as well as unusual bruising can both be considered side effects of blood thinning medication. Therefore, it is important that anyone taking them be active in reducing the risk of even these minor injuries.
  4. Bleeding from the Gums: Even the gentlest tooth brusher has likely encountered the bleeding of gums while brushing, but those taking medications to thin the blood may find this occurrence even more common.
  5. Dizziness or Weakness: Because these particular blood thinners side effects can signal a serious adverse reaction, it is important to report them to your health care provider immediately. Weakness that occurs in one side of the body only can be even more alarming and can signal a medical emergency.
  6. Pain: Most commonly headaches or stomachaches characterize the pain associated with blood thinners side effects. But, it is also important to note that stomach pain can signal internal bleeding resulting from the use of the medications and thusly should be reported to a health care provider promptly.
  7. Chest Pain: Some users have encountered chest pain as a result of using medications to thin the blood. This symptom again can have dire consequences and should be reported to a health care provider if occurring.
  8. Red or Tarry Stools: Typically, this dramatic color change in the stool signals the presence of blood within, and it is a tell-tale indicator of same for people taking blood thinning drugs.
  9. Red or Brown Urine: Similarly to the color changes that can occur in the stools, the changing of urine color to red or brown usually signals the presence of blood.
  10. Itching and Rashes: Blood thinners side effects can include changes to the skin in the form of a rash or, generalized itchiness. Not all medications designed to thin the blood create skin changes however some of the more popular ones such as Plavix are known to cause itching in some users.

References:
1. http://www.ahrq.gov/
2. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/daily-aspirin-therapy/HB00073
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_vein_thrombosis

You may also like: