Coumadin (Warfarin Sodium)

What is Coumadin?

Coumadin (Warfarin Sodium) belongs to a group of anticoagulants that affect the blood flow, decreasing the risk of blood clot formation. This revolutionary blood thinner is advised as a treatment of different conditions, related to blood clots, such as heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure and others. Moreover, the medication can be used off-label to prevent and treat other illnesses and disorders.

Recommendations for Use

Consult the doctor primarily to Coumadin administration. Use the drug according to the prescribed dose, length of the course and other features. Never change the dose on your own, even if the drug seems ineffective with your condition. Coumadin should be used on a daily basis, approximately at the same time every day. It is up to the patient to take the drug with or without food.

Your doctor may recommend you frequent prothrombin time test to track the process of blood clotting. The results of the test will help the doctor to adjust the best dose, sufficient for the desirable effect. Never increase or decrease Coumadin dose to avoid the drug misuse. Do not double the dose even if you have missed one. You’d better skip the dose rather than take extra. Inform your healthcare provider about stomach disorders, fever, diarrhea, cold of flu symptoms or weight changes you have.

During Coumadin treatment course you should avoid activities that can boost the risk of injury or bleeding. Alcohol and grapefruit juice will decrease the effect of the medication. Additionally, pomegranate and cranberry juice combined with Warfarin intake can trigger undesirable reactions.

Precautions and Contraindications

Since Coumadin produces a drastic impact on the body and its essential function, it should be taken with ultimate caution. Do not start the medication intake without doctor’s approval. Do not use Coumadin once you:

• Are allergic to Warfarin Sodium or other ingredients of the treatment;
• Have an extremely high blood pressure;
• Undergo a spinal anesthesia;
• Have a history of serious head injury;
• Are diagnosed with blood cell disorders, etc.

Mental disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, psychical disorders and similar conditions are contraindicated for Coumadin use. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eliminate the medication intake for the sake of their children’s health.

A lower Coumadin dose can be prescribed to patients who suffer from the following health conditions:

• Cancer;
• Uncontrolled blood pressure;
• Heart disorders;
• Diabetes;
• Overactive thyroid;
• Severe kidney or liver problems;
• Intestinal or stomach bleeding, etc.

Drug Interactions

Unwanted side effects and serious health complications may appear as a result of Coumadin interaction with other pharmaceutical products, especially: Anti-inflammatory medications,Antibiotics,Antidepressants,Vitamin K containing drugs,Tuberculosis treatments and others.

Since it is not a complete list of drugs that should not be combined with Warfarin, tell your physician about other prescription and OTC treatments you are currently using.

Side Effects

Vomiting, nausea, constipation, gas, bad taste, bloating and stomach ache are the most common Coumadin side effects. The reactions will disappear after the few first drug uses. Consult your healthcare provider if the symptoms aggravate and become more severe.

Seek immediate medical assistance if you have noticed any signs of allergic reactions. Call your doctor in case of severe side effects occurrence, including:

• Problems urinating;
• Easy bleeding, unusual bruising;
• Dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue;
• Light-headedness, pale skin;
• Jaundice, etc.

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