What are possible adverse effects of anticoagulant therapy for deep venous thrombosis (DVT)?

Updated: Jun 05, 2019
  • Author: Kaushal (Kevin) Patel, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Hemorrhagic complications are the most common adverse effects of anticoagulant therapy. Anticoagulation therapy for 3-6 months results in major bleeding complications in 3-10% of patients. [141] High-risk populations (>65 y with a history of stroke, gastrointestinal [GI] bleed, renal insufficiency, or diabetes) have a 5-23% risk of having major hemorrhage at 90 days. Patients who require yearlong or indefinite anticoagulation (because of chronic risk factors) have double the risk of hemorrhage. Significant bleeding (ie, hematemesis, hematuria, GI hemorrhage) should be thoroughly investigated because anticoagulant therapy may unmask a preexisting disease (eg, cancer, peptic ulcer disease, arteriovenous malformation).


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