Summary. This review on the treatment of patients with venous thromboembolic disease consists of three sections. The first section describes the epidemiology, natural history and reasons for treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE), as well as a short overview on the evaluation of the use of antithrombotic agents and the spectrum of treatment options. In the second section, the evidence from clinical studies available to us in 2005 with the various treatment modalities is summarized. This section describes the current recommendations about how to treat patients with VTE initially and long term. Finally, in the third section the challenges for the treatment of patients beyond 2005 are discussed.