- Reviewed by Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter
Blood thinners are medications that make it harder for blood clots to form. Such clots can cause heart attacks, strokes, or leg vein clots that travel to the lung — all dangerous conditions. If you are at extra risk for these conditions, taking a blood thinner can reduce that risk (see "How blood thinners work").
But the anti-clotting action also puts you at risk for uncontrolled bleeding if you get injured. "It takes longer for any bleeding, even a small amount, to stop when you're on these medications," says Dr. Kei Ouchi, an emergency physician at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.
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About the Author
Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter
About the Reviewer
Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter
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