An antithrombotic agent is a drug that reduces thrombus formation. They can be used therapeutically for primary prevention, secondary prevention, or treatment of an acute thrombus. In the U.S., the American College of Chest Physicians publish clinical guidelines for clinicians the use of these drugs to treat and prevent a variety of diseases.
Different antithrombotics affect different blood clotting processes:
- Antiplatelet drugs limit the migration or aggregation of platelets.
- Anticoagulants limit the ability of the blood to clot.
- Thrombolytic drugs act to dissolve clots after they have formed.
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