When can I stop my blood thinner after a blood clot?
Updated: Oct 2, 2019
Blood clots can be life threatening and tend to recur. Modern oral blood thinners do a great job of preventing future blood clots. Our patients frequently ask: After a blood clot event when may I discontinue the blood thinning medication?
The answer is not a simple one. It is a complex decision that is made with your vascular doctor as a team. Two factors are balanced against each other in this decision making:
All the risk factors of blood clot formation are identified.
Your particular risk of bleeding from the blood thinner.
Once the blood clot is gone, if the underlying culprit for the blood clot formation is identified and removed, then the treatment length can be as short as three months.
But if no culprit for blood clot formation is found or the culprit identified can not be removed then blood thinner may be prescribed for life as the risk of recurrent blood clot formation can be anywhere from 3 to 28 percent. A lower dose of blood thinner is gaining ground for long term use with newer published data.
Feel free to ask us to elaborate on this issue keeping your particular case in mind and help determine your risk of developing blood clots in the future and the role that ongoing anticoagulant medication can play in reducing that risk.