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Heparin is a natural product, available by prescription, which is used as an anticoagulant. Blood clots can cause severe and life-threatening problems. Heparin is used to prevent the formation of blood clots and in circumstances to help dissolve blood clots already formed, such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and other situations involving excessive blood clotting.
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Anticoagulant: A substance that prevents or delays blood clots (coagulation).
Embolism: Obstruction of a vessel by an abnormal body, usually a detached blood clot.
Pulmonary: Pertaining to the lungs.
Thrombosis: Formation of blood clots causing vascular obstruction.