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How do warfarin and heparin work?

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Warfarin is a vitamin K antagonist. That means it works to stop your liver from processing vitamin K into substances, or "factors," that normally help clot your blood.

You get vitamin K from eating green leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach. Bacteria in your gut also produce it naturally.

Heparin interferes with certain factors that activate thrombin, an enzyme that helps your blood clot. That means your blood clots less easily.

SOURCES:

Biomolecules & Therapeutics : "New Anticoagulants for the Prevention and Treatment of Venous Thromboembolism."

British National Health Service: "Anticoagulant medicines."

Cleveland Clinic: "Pulmonary Embolism."

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada: "Anticoagulants."

National Blood Clot Alliance: "Warfarin," "Low Molecular Weight Heparin (LMWH),""Direct Oral Anticoagulants (DOACs)," "Vitamin K And Coumadin -- What You Need To Know."

Thrombosis and Haemostasis: "Reversal of anticoagulants: an overview of current developments."

Western Journal of Emergency Medicine : "Anticoagulation Drug Therapy: A Review."

UpToDate: "Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) and parenteral direct-acting anticoagulants: Dosing and adverse effects."

Johns Hopkins Lupus Center: "Anticoagulants."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on March 30, 2020

SOURCES:

Biomolecules & Therapeutics : "New Anticoagulants for the Prevention and Treatment of Venous Thromboembolism."

British National Health Service: "Anticoagulant medicines."

Cleveland Clinic: "Pulmonary Embolism."

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada: "Anticoagulants."

National Blood Clot Alliance: "Warfarin," "Low Molecular Weight Heparin (LMWH),""Direct Oral Anticoagulants (DOACs)," "Vitamin K And Coumadin -- What You Need To Know."

Thrombosis and Haemostasis: "Reversal of anticoagulants: an overview of current developments."

Western Journal of Emergency Medicine : "Anticoagulation Drug Therapy: A Review."

UpToDate: "Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) and parenteral direct-acting anticoagulants: Dosing and adverse effects."

Johns Hopkins Lupus Center: "Anticoagulants."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on March 30, 2020

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