Review Articles

The effects of corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin, on coagulation

Eric Hodgson
South African Family Practice | Vol 57, No 5 : September/October| a4354 | DOI: | ©
Submitted: 25 September 2015 | Published: 01 September 2015

About the author(s)

Eric Hodgson, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, South Africa; and Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, South Africa

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The immune and coagulation systems have numerous interactions, as evidenced by the increased risk of venous thromboembolism in inflammatory bowel disease. In general, proinflammatory states are prothrombotic, while a reduction in inflammation reduces thrombotic risk. Corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone and prednisone, tend to reduce inflammation and thus thrombosis, while being prothrombotic in non-inflammatory states, e.g. Cushing’s syndrome. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also have a dual effect, through interaction with different cyclo-oxygenase enzyme isoforms, on platelets and the vascular endothelium.


coagulation; corticosteroids; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; NSAIDs


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