What You Need to Know about Anticoagulant Therapy

What You Need to Know about Anticoagulant Therapy

Gregory Piazza, MD, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), discusses what patients need to know when taking anticoagulants or blood thinners.

Anticoagulants or blood thinners are used to treat patients with a number of cardiovascular diseases. Most commonly, anticoagulants are used as atrial fibrillation treatment for irregular heart rhythm. Anticoagulants are also used to treat patients who have undergone heart valve repair and have mechanical heart valves. Anticoagulants are also used for patients who've experienced blood clots in either the veins or the arteries.

In this video, Dr. Piazza discusses:

  • Types of anticoagulants including warfarin and novel oral anticoagulants (rivaroxaban, apixaban, edoxaban, and dabigatran)
  • Importance of medication adherence while taking anticoagulants
  • Laboratory monitoring of the  International Normalized Ratio
  • Side effects of warfarin and novel oral anticoagulants (rivaroxaban, apixaban, edoxaban, and dabigatran)
  • Drug and food interactions associated with anticoagulant therapy
  • Activity restrictions and anticoagulant therapy
  • Discontinuing anticoagulant therapy before surgery
  • Benefits and risks of non-warfarin anticoagulants 

Learn more about cardiovascular care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Read the What You Need to Know about Anticoagulant Therapy video transcript.


Created by

Brigham and Women's Physician Resource Center

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Gregory Piazza, MD

Gregory Piazza, MD

Cardiovascular Medicine