Anticoagulant

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An anticoagulant is a pharmaceutical drug or natural substance that is used to prevent or treat blood clots, otherwise known as a Thrombus. Two common anticoagulant drugs are Heparin and Warfarin, which both act to prevent the clotting of blood in a vein or artery that may have lead to diseases such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms which could lead to fatality[1]. Heparin is administered intravenously and therefore is used in an emergency to elicit a quick response, such as in atrial fibrillation[2]. Warfarin is administered in a tablet form so can be taken at home, and can be used to prevent a blood clot from either forming or becoming larger[3]. It works by reducing the amount of active Vitamin K in the blood, which is required for the mechanism of blood clotting factor VII and prothrombin[4]. Anticoagulant is naturally found in salivary glands of anopheline and culicine mosquitoes. Anopheline mosquitoes have thrombin-directed anticoagulants while culicine mosquitoes have FXa-directed anticoagulants.

References

  1. http://patient.info/health/anticoagulants
  2. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682826.html
  3. Warfarin, Medline Plus, October 2015
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warfarin
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