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Anticoagulant drugs are used to prevent and treat thrombotic disorders in millions of patients worldwide. This Milestone plots the history of anticoagulant drugs on an interactive Timeline, starting with the discovery and clinical trials of heparin and warfarin. The synthesis of low-molecular-weight heparins enabled more convenient, outpatient treatment of thrombosis. Since 2000, the development of direct oral factor Xa and thrombin inhibitors as well as antidotes to reverse the effects of these drugs has revolutionized the practice of anticoagulation. Nevertheless, the delicate cost–benefit balance between bleeding and prevention of clotting continues to drive research into novel agents and optimal dosing regimens.
This Milestone is editorially independent, produced with financial support from a third party.
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