Blood thinners are medicines that prevent blood clots. They do not actually thin the blood but increase the time it takes to form a blood clot. They also help prevent existing blood clots from becoming larger. They may be used to prevent or to treat certain blood vessel, heart, or lung conditions.

The term "blood thinner" describes different types of medicine, including anticoagulants and antiplatelets.

Examples of anticoagulants include:

  • apixaban (Eliquis).
  • dabigatran (Pradaxa).
  • rivaroxaban (Xarelto).
  • warfarin (Coumadin).

Examples of antiplatelets include:

  • aspirin.
  • clopidogrel (Plavix).
  • prasugrel (Effient).
  • ticagrelor (Brilinta).

Current as of: April 26, 2016

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Jeffrey S. Ginsberg, MD - Hematology