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Anticoagulants decrease the ability of the blood to clot (coagulate). They are sometimes called blood thinners, although they do not actually thin the blood. Used to treat certain blood vessel, heart and lung conditions. They may prevent existing clots from becoming larger and causing more serious problems, and are often prescribed to prevent first or recurrent stroke. Also given to certain people at risk for forming blood clots, such as those with artificial heart valves or who have atrial fibrillation (AF). Common anticoagulant drugs are heparin and warfarin.
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