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    Are there alternatives to prescription blood thinners?
    wykoffdn posted:
    After my heart attack a few weeks ago, the doctor prescribed a name-brand blood thinner that costs more each month than my car payment! Are there any supplements or alternatives that will give the same results and be more budget-friendly?
    James Beckerman, MD, FACC responded:
    I am assuming that your doctor prescribed either plavix or effient - neither of which has a generic equivalent at this time. These are very important meds, particularly if you just had a stent placed. Even though they are expensive, I really do recommend staying on them. You might also find it helpful to talk to your doctor's office about any programs which can help bring down the cost. Take care!
    gorper responded:
    The VA took me off Plavix and I am now on Aggrenox.Much cheaper.
    palyoos responded:
    I did not have a heart attack, but had a stroke 2 years ago, and my doctor put me on Warfarin sodium, which is the generic form of Coumadin. It is inexpensive and I've had no problems whatsoever with this drug. You might want to consult with your doctor about maybe changing to Warfarin. Drawback, you have to have a pro(trombin)time test once a month to be sure the anti-coagulation is where it should be. My doctor has adjusted the dose I take (5 mg) a few times, to be sure I'm always within the range I need to be. Some of the other drugs they mention in this posting, are not blood thinners, but rather medications to prevent the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. Not the same thing.
    billh99 replied to palyoos's response:
    The term "blood thinner" is often confused.

    Warfarin is an anticoagulant .

    Warfarin is used to decrease the tendency for thrombosis or as secondary prophylaxis (prevention of further episodes) in those individuals that have already formed a blood clot (thrombus ). Warfarin treatment can help prevent formation of future blood clots and help reduce the risk of embolism (migration of a thrombus to a spot where it blocks blood supply to a vital organ).[4>
    The type of anticoagulation (clot formation inhibition) for which warfarin is best suited, is that in areas of slowly-running blood, such as in veins and the pooled blood behind artificial and natural valves, and pooled in dysfunctional cardiac atria. Thus, common clinical indications for warfarin use are atrial fibrillation , the presence of artificial heart valves , deep venous thrombosis , and pulmonary embolism (where the embolized clots first form in veins). Warfarin is also used in antiphospholipid syndrome . It has been used occasionally after heart attacks (myocardial infarctions ), but is far less effective at preventing new thromboses in coronary arteries. Prevention of clotting in arteries is usually undertaken with antiplatelet drugs , which act by a different mechanism from warfarin (which normally has no effect on platelet function)."

    All of the other meds mentioned (plavix, effient, Aggrenox {aspirin dipyridamole}) are antiplatel drugs.


    An antiplatelet drug (antiaggregant) is a member of a class of pharmaceuticals that decrease platelet aggregation [1> and inhibit thrombus formation. They are effective in the arterial circulation, where anticoagulants have little effect.
    They are widely used in primary and secondary prevention of thrombotic cerebrovascular or cardiovascular disease."
    James Beckerman, MD, FACC replied to gorper's response:
    Aggrenox has different ingredients and does work differently - depending on whether or not you had a stent placed at the time of your hospitalization, it might be worth discussing this change further with your doctor.
    bobby75703 responded:

    To directly answer your question there are non-prescription alternatives that will thin blood, but I am clueless if they give the same benefit as your prescription. .

    Fish oil is a blood thinner, and so is garlic. But I would discuss this with your doctor before doing anything on your own. If I had a heart attack, I would be all ears to what my doctor has to say or recommend.
    odelyamlevy replied to James Beckerman, MD, FACC's response:

    I am 47 years old and had heart attack this year in Feb. I had stent placed successfully. Since then I was put on 9 different medications that I am taking only aspirin and nitro glycerin as necessary. I want also to eliminate the aspirin as the multiple side effects. What would you think if instead the plavix and aspirin I will take high dose of fish oil, & 10,000 mg of vitamin c would that thin my blood enough if I will take it from now won to the rest of my life? I Absolutely don't want to take any medications.

    Thank you. Odelya M. Levy
    James Beckerman, MD, FACC replied to odelyamlevy's response:
    Those supplements are not an effective substitute for the medications you have been prescribed.

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