Stopping Anticoagulation and Antiplatelet Therapy
For Patients and Providers
To our patients:
You are on a blood thinning medicine called _________________that prevents stroke, blood
clots, and/or heart attack. There may be a time when you need to stop taking this drug if you will
be having work done which might lead to bleeding. This may include: a dental visit, biopsy,
minor or major surgery.
Ask the doctor or dentist if you will need to stop this blood thinner and for how long it should be
stopped. If they want you to stop the above drug, please give them this note and tell them to
contact the clinic that manages your blood thinner. You should also call the clinic that
manages the blood thinner to tell them you will need to stop it for a short time.
To our patient’s doctor or dentist:
Your patient is being treated with an anti-thrombotic medicine. Refer to the UW Health
guidelines below to decide if your patient needs to stop anti-thrombotic therapy prior to the
procedure. These guidelines can be accessed at: www.uwhealth.org/anticoagulation. The
guidelines may not apply to all patients and all cases.
When deciding if a patient should stop anti-thrombotic therapy or be bridged to another
anticoagulant you should consider these factors:
ξ Indication for anticoagulation
ξ Patient’s individual risk for thrombosis or stroke if anti-thrombotic is stopped
ξ Thrombosis and bleeding risk of the procedure
ξ Duration needed for the patient to be off anti-thrombotic medicines
Please keep in mind there are some procedures where warfarin or aspirin may be continued since
bleeding risk is considered low:
ξ Simple dental procedures – including extractions
ξ Cataract surgery
ξ Diagnostic or screening colonoscopies
ξ Minor cutaneous surgeries
Patients who have held their anti-thrombotic therapy and who have not been bridged with an
alternative anticoagulant may be at an increased risk for thrombosis or stroke. It is appropriate to
balance the thrombosis and stroke risk with the bleeding risks of the procedure.
If your patient is on anti-thrombotic therapy for stroke and followed by the UW Stroke Clinic,
you may contact them to discuss the optimal balance for your patient.
ξ UW Stroke Clinic: (608) 265-8899: Mon-Fri 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
If your patient is on anti-thrombotic therapy for thrombosis or other related indications, you
should contact the provider who prescribed the medicine to discuss the optimal balance for your
patient. This may be the primary care provider, cardiologist or the UW Health Anticoagulation
ξ UW Health Anticoagulation Clinic: (608) 263-8475: Mon-Fri 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
ξ Primary Provider: ___________________________ Phone: _____________________
ξ Cardiologist: _______________________________ Phone: _____________________
Thank you in advance for coordinating with us in this way to help minimize the risk of
complications for our shared patient.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©4/2015. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6115.