Anticoagulants are medicines that help prevent blood clots. They're given to people at a high risk of getting clots, to reduce their chances of developing serious conditions such as strokes and heart attacks.

A blood clot is a seal created by the blood to stop bleeding from wounds. While they're useful in stopping bleeding, they can block blood vessels and stop blood flowing to organs such as the brain, heart or lungs if they form in the wrong place.

Anticoagulants work by interrupting the process involved in the formation of blood clots. They're sometimes called "blood-thinning" medicines, although they don't actually make the blood thinner.

Although they're used for similar purposes, anticoagulants are different to antiplatelet medicines, such as low-dose aspirin and clopidogrel.

More information can be accessed below:

Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Prevention 

Preventing AF-Related Stroke: Anticoagulation 

Apixaban (Eliquis) AF Counselling Checklist 

Apixaban (Eliquis) VTE Counselling Checklist 

Dabigatran (Pradaxa) AF Counselling Checklist 

Edoxaban (Lixiana) AF Counselling Checklist 

Edoxaban (Lixiana) VTE Counselling Checklist 

Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) AF Counselling Checklist 

Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) VTE Counselling Checklist 

Atrial fibrillation: medicines to help reduce your risk of a stroke – what are the options? 

Anticoagulant Bleeding Advice Sheet