The two main types of blood thinners are anticoagulants and antiplatelets, states MedlinePlus. Anticoagulants such warfarin, or Coumadin, and heparin, use chemical reactions in the body to extend the time it takes to form blood clots. Aspirin and other antiplatelets stop blood cells, called platelets, from clustering to form clots.
Doctors may give anticoagulants such as Lovenox or Fragmin to hospital or home patients by injection or intravenously. They also administer blood thinners, including Xarelto, Pradaxa and Eliquis, in pill form, notes WebMD.
Patients who can benefit from blood thinners include those who have poor blood flow to the brain or suffer from certain blood vessel or heart diseases, such as atrial fibrillation, notes MedlinePlus. As the medications prevent blood clots from forming in the veins and arteries, they reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.