Anticoagulation is the term to describe treatments used to help prevent blood clots from forming in blood vessels. Anticoagulation is a conventional therapy used to treat some people with pulmonary hypertension (PH). It will be prescribed life-long for people who are at higher risk of developing blood clots, for example patients with chronic thrombo-embolic pulmonary hypertension. It will also be essential for patients suffering from problems of irregular heartbeats, for example atrial fibrillation (AF).
The most commonly prescribed anticoagulant is warfarin. More recently alternative options have been approved; rivaroxaban, apixaban, edoxaban and dabigatran, collectively known as either NOACs (Novel Oral Anticoagulants) or DOACs (Direct Oral Anticoagulants). These have also been shown to be safe and effective in preventing and treating blood clots. At this time, there are currently no large trials in PH, but there is no reason to suspect they are less effective than warfarin.