Various types of medications may be used in the treatment of DVT. Although anticoagulants (blood thinners) do not destroy the clots, they may keep the clot from growing and other clots from forming. Warfarin (Coumadin) may be taken orally or a heparin injection may be given either intravenously (IV) or under the skin (subcutaneously). Treatment with blood thinners may last from three to six months. If a blood clot develops after surgery, treatment may be shorter. If there have been previous clots or treatment for another illness is underway, the treatment may last as long as risk factors are present.
The most common side effect of blood-thinning medication is bleeding. Bruising or bleeding should be reported to the physician right away.
Another type of medication called thrombolytics ("clot busters") can dissolve a clot quickly, over a period of a few days. Thrombolytics are used in certain situations as determined by a physician.
Thrombin inhibitors are medications that can disrupt the formation of a clot. Patients who cannot take heparin may be given one of these medications.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.