What Are the Treatments for Blood Clots in the Lungs & Legs?


A blood clot is a dangerous condition that develops when clumps of hardened blood form inside of one of the veins throughout your body. A blood clot in your legs is referred to as deep vein thrombosis or DVT, while a blood clot that has traveled to your lungs is known as a pulmonary embolism.


For both lung and leg blood clots, the aim of treatment is to dissolve the blood clot or remove it before it can cause severe damage.


Often, treatment for both lung and leg blood clots requires inpatient care in a hospital. Lovenox is a newer treatments available for leg blood clots sometimes result in shorter hospital stays, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Types of Medications

Heparin, lovenox and warfarin are intravenous, injectable and oral anticoagulant medications that are typically used to thin your blood and slowly break down a leg or lung blood clot. For severe clots, particularly those in your lungs, clot busting medications like tissue plasminogen activator are used to dissolve the clump of blood more quickly.

Time Frame

Heparin treatment is usually required for up to one week, reports RxList. You may take warfarin for approximately three months after a blood clot, explains the U.S. National Library of Medicine.


For a pulmonary embolism, doctors may perform surgery to remove large clots using a catheter or tube to extract the mass, reports the Mayo Clinic.

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