Understanding "blood thinners"

These drugs actually help stop dangerous blood clots from forming. Here's when you may need them.

Published: March, 2021

Nearly everyone has heard of "blood thinners." Maybe you or someone you know takes one. But these drugs don't "thin" blood at all.

"They are actually anti-clotting drugs," says Dr. Gregory Piazza, a cardiologist with Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. "They prevent potentially dangerous blood clots from developing in people at high risk, like those who have atrial fibrillation or a stent in a blood vessel, or who are immobile after surgery."

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