LUPUS ANTICOAGULANT OR APL
Often, you will not need treatment if you do not have symptoms or if you have never had a blood clot in the past.
Take the following steps to help prevent blood clots from forming:
- Avoid most birth control pills or hormone treatments for menopause (women).
- DO NOT smoke or use other tobacco products.
- Get up and move around during long plane flights or other times when you have to sit or lie down for extended periods.
- Move your ankles up and down when you cannot move around.
You will be prescribed blood thinning medicines (such as heparin and warfarin) to help prevent blood clots:
- After surgery
- After a bone fracture
- With active cancer
- When you need to set or lie down for long periods of time, such as during a hospital stay or recovering at home.
You may also need to take blood thinners for 3 to 4 weeks after surgery to lower your risk of blood clots.
ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID ANTIBODY SYNDROME (APS)
In general you will need long-term treatment with blood thinner for a long time if you have the APS. Initial treatment may be heparin, either unfractionated or low-molecular heparin. These medicines are given by injection.
In most cases, warfarin (Coumadin), which is given by mouth, is then started. It is necessary to monitor the level of anticoagulation frequently. This is most often done using the INR test.
If you have APS and become pregnant, you will need to be followed closely by a provider expert in this condition. You will not take warfarin during pregnancy but will be given low-molecular weight heparin instead.
If you have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and APS your provider will also recommend that you take hydroxychloroquine.