Anticoagulation, which prevents further coagulation but does not act on existing clots, is the standard treatment for deep vein thrombosis.
An anticoagulant is a substance that prevents coagulation (clotting) of blood. Anticoagulants prevent clots from growing further and may prevent long-term complications such as pain and swelling; however they do not dissolve existing clots.
Balancing risk vs. benefit is important in determining the duration of anticoagulation, and three months is generally the standard length of treatment. Patients aged 80 years or more may be especially susceptible to bleeding complications, with a rate of 13 bleeds per 100 people.
Commonly used anticoagulants are Heparin and Warfarin.
Last updated: 26-Feb-13