Do blood thinners make you feel cold?

A fellow caregiver asked...

My in-laws live with us and my father-in-law is always cold. He is on Plavix. When he complains about feeling cold, his skin is not cold. Why is he feeling cold? Turning the heat up doesn't really help unless it is so hot that the rest of us can't breathe. What I really want to know is why do blood thinners make you cold? If they increase circulation, they should make you feel warmer.

Expert Answer

Carolyn Strimike, N.P. and Margie Latrella, N.P. are cardiac nurse practitioners specializing in the prevention of heart disease and stroke. They have over 40 years of nursing experience in Cardiology between them. The main goal of their work is to counsel, motivate and empower women to adopt healthy lifestyle choices.

"Blood thinners" do not increase your circulation. Their main purpose is to prevent blood clots from forming. Plavix is actually an antiplatelet medication and not a "blood thinner" like coumadin or warfarin. Feeling cold is not a documented side effect of Plavix however everyone metabolizes and responds to medications differently. We would recommend a complete blood work panel to check for such things as anemia and thyroid problems which can also lead to feeling cold.