What To Know Before Taking Blood Thinners

Millions of Americans take blood thinners to prevent the formation of blood clots and stroke, including many people who have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder.

Yet despite the ability of anticoagulants to prevent dangerous blood clots and stroke, these drugs carry serious risks, too, including life-threatening bleeding. Analysis by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices found that the Food and Drug Administration received nearly 34,765 adverse drug event reports last year for anticoagulants taken orally; that included nearly 3,000 deaths and more than 9,500 adverse events – like hemorrhaging, or bleeding, in the head – severe enough to require hospitalization.

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