Both arterial and venous thrombi may result in local vascular obstruction or distant embolization. Antithrombotic agents interfere with these processes by (1) preventing formation of the platelet-fibrin net (blocking thrombin activation or platelet function) or (2) accelerating clot breakdown (fibrinolysis). Antithrombotic agents are grouped by mechanism of action.2 Anticoagulants block synthesis and activation of clotting factors. Antiplatelet agents interfere with platelet activation or aggregation. Fibrinolytics (inaccurately referred to as thrombolytics) dissolve the fibrin component of thrombi.

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