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Anticoagulation Clinic

At the Anticoagulation Clinic, patients at risk for harmful clot formation are given an oral anticoagulant, Coumadin (warfarin). Patients are referred to the Anticoagulation Clinic by their doctor.

What are anticoagulants?

Coagulation is the process of blood clotting and is a normal function that prevents excessive bleeding from cuts or injuries. Anticoagulants, sometimes called blood thinners, help prevent blood clots from forming. For people who have illnesses that damage the lungs, heart, or arteries, a blood clot can easily form in or travel to your heart, lungs or brain, obstruct blood flow and possibly lead to life threatening problems. Anticoagulants are needed to control or prevent the formation of blood clots.

Because anticoagulants slow the normal clotting of blood, and because many other factors can affect how the medication works in your body, it is important that your blood be checked frequently to be sure the clotting time stays within a certain range.

Your visit to the Anticoagulation Clinic

The pharmacist conducting the Anticoagulation Clinic is a registered pharmacist, highly trained and skilled in medication therapies, monitoring medication results, adjusting dosages, and preventing dangerous drug interactions. The pharmacist will maintain ongoing, confidential communication with you and your physician about your progress throughout your treatment.

On your first visit to the Anticoagulation Clinic, the pharmacist will ask you about:

  • Your health
  • Your lifestyle
  • Medical history
  • Other medications you are taking

Because many things affect the way anticoagulants work in your body, it is important that the pharmacist know everything you take, both prescription and non-prescription medications as well as all “natural” or “herbal” vitamins or remedies.

During your appointment at the Anticoagulation Clinic, the lab technician will perform a finger stick to get a few drops of blood, then test that blood to identify how long it takes to clot. Results are available immediately so that during your visit your medication dosage can be adjusted if needed. The pharmacist will also promptly communicate your test results directly with your physician.

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