How Do Thrombin Inhibitors Work?
Thrombin inhibitors are anticoagulants that work by binding to a clotting protein known as thrombin. Thrombin plays a central role in blood clot formation. Once thrombin is formed, it activates other components involved in blood clot formation. Thrombin is found either free or bound to fibrin in the body. Fibrin is a protein involved in the formation of blood clots in the body. It is made from the protein fibrinogen and helps to stop bleeding and to heal wounds. Thrombin inhibitors not only deactivate free thrombin but also the thrombin bound to fibrin. Thus, thrombin inhibitors prevent the formation of blood clots, reducing the risk for stroke or other medical conditions.
How Are Thrombin Inhibitors Used?
Thrombin inhibitors are used to prevent:
- Arterial and venous thrombosis (blood clot blocks in arteries/veins)
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the legs)
- Atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat of the upper chambers of the heart)
- Thromboembolism (obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot that breaks loose and is carried by the bloodstream)
What Are Side Effects of Thrombin Inhibitors?
Some of the side effects of thrombin inhibitors include:
- Abdominal pain
- Leg pain
- Minor bleed (such as nosebleeds and bleeding from cuts)
- Major bleed
- Life-threatening bleed
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Hypersensitivity, including hives, skin rash, itching
Serious side effects of thrombin inhibitors include:
- Severe heartburn
Postmarketing side effects of thrombin inhibitors:
- Skin swelling
- Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets)
- Esophageal ulcer
- Neutropenia (low count of white blood cell)
- Angioedema (Painless swelling under the skin)
The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.