If you're taking a blood thinner, is it still possible to get a blood clot?

Answer From Rekha Mankad, M.D.

Yes. Medications that are commonly called blood thinners — such as aspirin, warfarin (Jantoven), dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), apixaban (Eliquis), edoxaban (Savaysa) and heparin — greatly decrease your risk of blood clotting. But they don't prevent blood clots completely.

These medications must be taken exactly as directed to work safely and effectively. Taking too little of these medications might not be effective and taking too much can lead to serious bleeding.

Also, blood thinners might not be able to lessen the strong blood-clotting tendency of an underlying disease, such as cancer.

Other medications, food and alcohol can change the way blood thinners work, and a blood thinner can change the way other medications work. For example, foods that are high in vitamin K can work against warfarin, but not other blood thinners.

If you take a blood thinner, be sure to follow your health care provider's advice on dosing. Ask about foods and other medications — including drugs you buy without a prescription and herbal supplements — that can interfere with how the blood thinner works.

With

Rekha Mankad, M.D.

From Mayo Clinic to your inbox

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

June 08, 2022 See more Expert Answers