(HealthDay News) -- Blood thinning medications are prescribed to help prevent heart attacks, strokes and blood vessel blockages caused by clots.
They also are prescribed for people who have cardiac problems including atrial fibrillation, phlebitis or congestive heart failure, the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital says.
Blood thinners may interact with popular medications -- like aspirin, ibuprofen and antacids -- so before you take a blood thinner, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you take.
People who use blood thinners need to avoid drinking alcohol and smoking. They also should have their blood tested regularly, to monitor how well the medication is working.