twitter logo youtube logo

Antithrombotics: indications and management


Diseases arising from clots in blood vessels include heart attack and stroke. Antithrombotic agents reduce the formation of clots in the blood and are used for primary and secondary prevention and treatment of acute thrombosis.

Remit and target users

This guideline provides recommendations based on current evidence for best practice in the management of adult patients on antithrombotic therapy. It includes antiplatelet therapy, parenteral and oral anticoagulant therapy and thrombolytic therapy for prophylaxis and treatment in a range of clinical conditions such as atrial fibrillation, peripheral arterial disease and cerebrovascular disease.

This guideline will be of particular interest to general practitioners, physicians, and pharmacists. It may also be of interest to patients and their carers, members of the voluntary sector and those involved in the development of research strategies in pharmacotherapy.

How this guideline was developed

This guideline was developed using a standard methodology based on a systematic review of the evidence. Further details can be found in SIGN 50: A Guideline Developer’s Handbook.

Keeping up to date

This guideline was issued in 2013 and will be considered for review in three years. The review history, and any updates to the guideline in the interim period, will be noted in the review report.

If you are aware of any new evidence that would update this guideline please complete a change request form and return to:

Current 3-7 years

Some recommendations may be out of  date, declaration of interests governance may not be in line with current policy.


Full guideline (PDF)

Quick reference guide (PDF)

Apple app

Android app

Supporting material

Prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation: A guide for primary care (PDF)

Declarations of interest (PDF)

Search narrative (PDF)

Copyright permission (PDF)

Contact us

SIGM 129, August 2012
ISBN 978 1 905813 91 9
Updated June 2013

guidelines international network logo


HIS Healthcare Improvement Scotland logo