anticoagulant


an·ti·co·ag·u·lant

noun \-kō-ˈa-gyə-lənt\

medical : a substance that prevents blood from forming clots

Full Definition of ANTICOAGULANT

:  a substance that hinders the clotting of blood :  blood thinner
anticoagulant adjective

First Known Use of ANTICOAGULANT

1886

anticoagulant

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Substance that prevents blood from clotting by suppressing the synthesis or function of various clotting factors (see coagulation). Anticoagulants are given to prevent thrombosis and used in drawing and storing blood. There are two main types of anticoagulants: heparin and vitamin K antagonists (e.g., warfarin). The latter have longer-lasting effects, interfering in the liver's metabolism of vitamin K to cause production of defective clotting factors. Anticoagulant therapy carries a high risk of uncontrollable hemorrhage.

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