What is Anticoagulation? Anticoagulation is the process used to prevent the coagulation of blood to a semi-solid or solid state.

Why is Anticoagulation Needed?

The coagulation of blood forms blood clots that can decrease or stop the flow of blood and the supply of oxygen to different parts of the body, causing ischemia and, thereby, conditions such as:

  • Heart attacks
  • Stroke
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism

Anticoagulation targeting specific parts of the coagulation cascade can prevent the formation of blood clots and the potentially fatal consequences.


What Drugs Are Used for Anticoagulation?

There are several classes of anticoagulant drugs, including:

  • Heparins (unfractionated heparin, low molecular weight heparin, ultra-low molecular weight heparin)
  • Warfarin
  • Factor Xa inhibitors
  • Direct thrombin inhibitors
  • Direct Oral Anticoagulants (DOACs)

Source: Umerah Co, Momodu II. Anticoagulation. [Updated 2022 Jul 18]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: