Stroke and Medication

Anticoagulant Antiplatelet Agents

Anticoagulants (blood thinners) are medicines that delay the clotting of blood. They make it harder for clots to form or keep existing clots from enlarging in your heart, veins or arteries. Treatment should be supervised, and last only as long as necessary. Two examples are heparin and Warfarin (brand name Coumadin).

Anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents are used to help patients prevent strokes caused by a blood clot by improving blood flow. Both anticoagulant and antiplatelet agents are medicines that interfere with the blood's ability to clot in an artery, vein or the heart.


Printable Medication Log

Antiplatelet medicines keep blood clots from forming by preventing blood platelets from sticking together. They are used as part of a treatment for patients with atherosclerosis or with increased clotting tendencies.

Atherosclerosis is the process by which deposits of cholesterol form along inner walls of blood vessels, creating conditions for blood clots to form.

Antiplatelets are generally prescribed preventively, when atherosclerosis is evident but there is not yet a large obstruction in the artery.

Antiplatelet drugs include aspirin, ticlopidine (Ticlid ®), Clopidogrel (Plavix ®) and aspirin/dipyrimadole (Aggrenox ®). 

Aspirin is an important therapeutic agent for stroke prevention. It's a medicine that can save your life if you have heart problems, or if you have had a stroke or TIA. You must use aspirin just as your doctor tells you.