Anticoagulants - Uses & Types

Anticoagulants are medicines that increase the time it takes for blood to clot. They are commonly called blood thinners. 

There are several different types of anticoagulant. Each type works at a different level on the blood coagulation pathway. Some can be given by mouth; others can only be given by injection.


Anticoagulants may be used to treat blood clots, or in conditions where the risk of blood clots is increased to reduce the risk. Examples of conditions where anticoagulants may be used include:

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Hip or knee replacement surgery
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)


Types of anticoagulants include:

  • Coumarins and indandiones
  • Factor Xa inhibitors
  • Heparins
  • Thrombin inhibitors

Keywords: anticoagulants

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.