Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Coumadin

(Warfarin)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available
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Prevents blood clots.

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Our bottom line

Coumadin (Warfarin) is an old, cheap, and effective medicine to prevent blood clots, but it requires some monitoring, dose adjustments, and even lifestyle changes.

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Upsides

  • Oral blood-thinning medicine that prevents blood clots from forming or getting bigger.
  • Prevents complications of blood clots that can cause extreme discomfort or death. Examples include stroke (blood clots in the brain), pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs causing trouble breathing), or deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs causing pain and blood vessel damage).
  • Has an antidote, Vitamin K, in case of a major accidental bleeding.
  • Coumadin (Warfarin) has been around for a long time, so we know a lot about how well it works and what the risks are.
  • It's dirt cheap.
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Downsides

  • Raises your risk of bleeding and bruising.
  • Requires routine blood testing (called an INR) to see how well the medicine is working for you and to make the dose just right for you.
  • Many lifestyle factors can affect how well warfarin works, such as diet, alcohol, and activity level, so it's important that you try to stay consistent with your behaviors.
  • Lots of interactions with other drugs or supplements. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new meds.

What to expect when you take Coumadin (Warfarin) for Anticoagulant

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Side effect rates for Coumadin (Warfarin)

Risks and Warnings for Coumadin (Warfarin)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Dose too high
    • Age greater than 65
    • History of gastrointestinal bleeding
    • High blood pressure
    • Kidney or liver problems
    • Drug interactions
    • Change in lifestyle or diet
    • Illnesses
    • Alcohol
    • Certain genetic makeup

    Coumadin (Warfarin) is a blood thinner that makes it harder for your blood to clot. Your body may not be able to stop bleeds the way it normally does. Regular monitoring through blood tests, taking the exact amount as instructed, and having a consistent diet can lower your risk of bleeding. Let your doctor know about any persistent or frequent bleeding or bruising, pink urine, red or coffee-ground like stools. If you are bleeding a lot for more than 15 minutes, have a bruise that is getting bigger instead of better, or have fallen and hit your head, go get immediate medical help. In the hospital, doctors can give you a medicine that can reverse the effects of Coumadin (Warfarin).

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Coumadin (Warfarin)

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Pregnancy
Interactions
  • Lots of interactions with other drugs or supplements. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new meds.
  • Interacts with a lot of medicines and supplements. Don't start any new meds without talking to your doctor.
Food
  • Eat foods containing consistent amounts of Vitamin K.