Compare Coumadin vs. Heparin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Coumadin
(warfarin)

heparin

Prevents blood clots. Coumadin (warfarin) is a cheap and effective medicine that prevents new blood clots. It requires regular blood tests and you'll need to eat, exercise, and take your medicines consistently.Prevents blood clots. Heparin is a good anticoagulant that prevents blood clots. However, you'll need to get frequent blood tests to make sure it's working well.
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Reviews & ratings
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5.15Coumadin
Reviews for Coumadin (warfarin)
61%
of people (All ages) say Coumadin (warfarin) is worth it
54%
say it works well
21%
say it's a big hassle
513 reviews
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Side effects
CoumadinHeparin

The Coumadin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Coumadin side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Heparin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Heparin »
How it works
CoumadinHeparin
Coumadin (warfarin) prevents blood clots from forming. It doesn't break up clots that already exist. It can only stop new ones from forming or old ones from getting bigger.Heparin is an anticoagulant that binds with proteins and platelets to stop blood clots from being made and traveling to the brain, heart, and lungs.
Type of medication
CoumadinHeparin
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
CoumadinHeparin
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
CoumadinHeparin
Risk factors for serious side effects
CoumadinHeparin
  • Coumadin (warfarin) dose too high
  • Age greater than 65 year
  • History of stomach bleeding
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney or liver problems
  • Drug interactions
  • Change in lifestyle or diet
  • Alcohol use
  • Certain genetic factors
  • Women of childbearing age
      Detailed Coumadin (warfarin) risks & warnings »
      • History of bleeding problems
      • Severe high blood pressure
      • Older age
      • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
      Detailed Heparin risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy

      Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

      Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      Interactions
      CoumadinHeparin
      • A lot of other drugs and supplements interact with Coumadin (warfarin), so you'll need to check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new medicines.
      • Coumadin (warfarin) interacts with many drugs and supplements. This can increase your risk of bleeding or of developing a new blood clot. If you start a new medication or change your diet, let your doctor know so they can change your dose if necessary.
      No interactions related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      CoumadinHeparin
      • Coumadin (warfarin) is available as a generic, so it should be less expensive than the brand version.
      • In case you start bleeding too much while using Coumadin (warfarin), your doctor can give you another drug that reverses Coumadin (warfarin)'s effects.
      • Coumadin (warfarin) comes in numerous strengths.
      • Coumadin (warfarin) has been around for a long time and is one of the most commonly used 'blood thinner' medicines.
      • Safe to use in pregnancy and if you're breast feeding.
      • There are other medications that can help stop unexpected bleeding while taking Heparin.
      • Available as a generic medication.
      • Usually used in the hospital, but can be given at home too.
      Downsides and risks
      CoumadinHeparin
      • Raises your risk of bleeding and bruising.
      • Requires regular blood work, such as an INR, to make sure Coumadin (warfarin) is working correctly.
      • Your daily dose of Coumadin (warfarin) can change if you change your diet, exercise patterns, or use of alcohol.
      • A lot of other drugs and supplements interact with Coumadin (warfarin), so you'll need to check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new medicines.
      • You'll need to get labs/blood draws done on a regular basis to make sure the drug is working and to make sure you don't get unexpected side effects.
      • You can be at higher risk for bleeding or clotting while taking Heparin compared to other anticoagulants.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      CoumadinHeparin
      • Prevents clots from forming or getting bigger. It doesn't break up clots that already exist.
      • Take Coumadin (warfarin) exactly as your doctor tells you.
      • Once you're taking Coumadin (warfarin), it'll take longer for your body to heal if you get cut or bruised. Call your doctor if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising.
      • Carry a list of your medications with you or wear a medical bracelet that says you're on Coumadin (warfarin) in case you have a medical emergency.
      • Your doctor will check your blood regularly for the first few months that you're taking Coumadin (warfarin).
      • To get the best results, don't fall behind on taking your other medicines and eat the same amount of vegetables each day.
      • Make sure to change where you inject Heparin every time.
      • Don't take aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications without talking to your doctor first.
      • You will have to do regular blood draws or labs to make sure that Heparin is working for you.
      Learn more
      More about CoumadinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Coumadin (warfarin)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about HeparinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Heparin?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it