Side Effects of Blood Thinners
There are dangerous Side Effects of Blood Thinners as well as possible interactions. Blood thinners prevent blood from clotting regardless of whether that clotting is harmful or beneficial to the body. Therefore, the most dangerous Side Effects of Blood Thinners have to do with an increased risk of bleeding. Side Effects of Blood Thinners depend on factors including:
- The length of time they are taken
- Other drugs they are taken with
- Individual differences in people taking the drug, such as allergies
The risk of bleeding is further increased when more than one blood thinner is used at the same time. The Side Effects of Blood Thinners, including an increased risk of bleeding, are apparent even in low doses of aspirin; stronger blood thinners require careful medical monitoring of INR values. Side Effects of Blood Thinners that require immediate medical attention:
- severe bleeding
- Blood in stool
- Chest pain
- Hives, rash
- Swelling of the face, mouth, throat, hands, legs, feet
- Like symptoms
Side effects of blood thinners - aspirin
The most commonly experienced side effects of blood thinners are from aspirin. Although not a prescription drug, low daily doses of aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding. Low-dose aspirin can also increase the risk of peptic ulcer disease and gastrointestinal toxicity.1
Side effects of blood thinners - Coumadin
The correct Coumadin dose can be difficult to determine because it is such a powerful drug. The side effects of blood thinners are so great that the wrong dose of Coumadin can actually cause death in some cases. A patients’ response to Coumadin must be monitored carefully with INR testing to ensure that they are not experiencing side effects of blood thinners such as the risk of bleeding, especially at the beginning of treatment. For people taking Coumadin (warfarin), diet is an important aspect of reducing the side effects of blood thinners. Coumadin acts by inhibiting vitamin K. Changes in the amount of vitamin K consumed in the diet can interfere with Coumadin to either increase the risk of blood clots (with increased vitamin K) or bleeding (with decreased vitamin K). In addition to diet, vitamin K is also produced by “good” bacteria in the large intestine. Antibiotics can kill these bacteria, leading to a sudden drop in vitamin K. Many foods and other drugs also have interactions with Coumadin. Foods that contain natural blood thinners increase the risk of side effects of blood thinners.
Scheiman JM, Hindley CE. Strategies to optimize treatment with NSAIDS in patients at risk for gastrointestinal and cardiovascular adverse events. Clin Ther. 2010;667- 777. 2 Barnes GD, Froehlich JB. Anticoagulation: where we are and where we need to go. J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2009;220-223.
Dietary supplementation with Nattokinase was shown to suppress Intimal Thickening (thickening of the blood vessel wall) following induced injury of the rat femoral artery and appeared to enhance tissue type plasminogen activator (t-PA) while not tending to increase bleeding versus the control group. Thus, orally administered nattokinase could be considered as a cardiovascular disease (CVD) nutraceutical by decreasing plasma levels of these blood clotting factors associated with an increased CVD risk. Fibrinolytic activity, the amounts of t-PA, and fibrin degradation by-product in the plasma are doubled when nattokinase is given to human subjects by oral administration.
Nattokinase has clot-dissolving capabilities like that of our own fibrin-degrading enzyme plasmin. Plasmin is a natural human enzyme found in the blood and serves as a defense system to get rid of superfluous blood clots. Nattokinase increases the human body's ability to battle blood clots through multiple methods, because of its ability to up-regulate plasmin levels. In tests with 45 human subjects taking 2 capsules/day nattokinase orally, systemic levels of fibrinogen, Factor VII and Factor VIII (coagulation factors) were all found to decrease with no notable adverse events.
Anti-coagulants, or blood thinners, are used to stop platelets in the blood's plasma from forming clots. People who are at risk of a heart attack, stroke or an aneurysm are most often prescribed blood thinning medications. Some blood thinners are comprised of many different chemicals, while others like aspirin are one drug. Although they are called blood thinners, blood thinning medications do not actually thin the blood. Instead, they decrease the blood's ability to clot.
Blood coagulation or blood clotting is the transformation of blood into a solid gel called a clot or thrombus. The clot consists of a lattice of a protein polymer known as fibrin in combination with activated platelets. Clotting occurs in response to injury in the blood vessel.