Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatments

Specific treatment will be determined by your health care provider based on: 

  • How old you are

  • Your overall health and medical history

  • How sick you are

  • How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies

  • How long the condition is expected to last

  • Your opinion or preference

The goal of treatment is to prevent the clot from getting larger, to prevent a blood clot from forming in the lungs, and to decrease the chance of another blood clot forming.

Treatment may include:

  • Blood thinners (anticoagulant medicines). These medicines decrease the ability of the blood to clot. Examples of anticoagulants include warfarin and heparin. Other anticoagulants may also be used, including rivaroxaban, apixaban, dabigatran and enoxaparin. Warfarin pills or heparin shots (injections). The most common side effect of blood-thinning medicine is bleeding. Report bruising or bleeding to your health care provider right away. You may have blood in the urine, bleeding with bowel movements, a bloody nose, bleeding gums, a cut that will not stop bleeding, or vaginal bleeding. 

  • Clot busters (fibrinolytics or thrombolytics). These medicines are used to break up clots.

  • Inferior vena cava filter. In some cases, a filter is placed in the vena cava (the large vein which returns blood from the body to the heart). This filter prevents clots from reaching the heart and lungs.

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