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Coumadin (Warfarin) is a medication used to treat blood clots, such as those that cause deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolus. This medication can be used to prevent new clots from forming in the body. Warfarin is usually called a “blood thinner,” but it is more accurately an anticoagulant because it helps the blood flow smoothly by decreasing the amount of clotting proteins in the blood.
Dosage is based on your medical condition, so your doctor will closely monitor you while taking this drug
It is important to eat a balanced diet while taking Warfarin. Some foods may affect how Warfarin is absorbed in the body. It is advised to avoid foods high in vitamin K. Warfarin works by decreasing the amount of vitamin K, so it is advised to avoid the following foods:
Some beverages are rich in vitamin K and some juices and alcohol can increase your risk of bleeding. You should avoid drinking:
Because this medication may cause heavy bleeding, you will want to lower your chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured. Use great caution with sharp objects as well as a soft toothbrush to avoid gum bleeding. Avoiding contact sports is essential, especially those that may involve hitting your head. Older adults are at a greater risk of bleeding while using this drug.
Some common side effects of Warfarin include:
Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following:
What should I tell my doctor before starting this medication?
Tell your doctor about any blood disorders, bleeding problems, blood vessel disorders, and alcohol use. It is important for your doctor and dentist to know if you take Warfarin, especially before a procedure that may cause excessive bleeding.
Can I drink while taking this medication?
Daily use of alcohol while using this medicine can increase your risk of stomach bleeding and affect how the medication works. You should limit your intake of alcoholic beverages and ask your doctor about how much alcohol you may safely drink.
I’m pregnant, can I take this medication?
This drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and it may harm an unborn baby. Pregnant women should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets. Small amounts of medication my pass into the breast milk, but it is unlikely to harm a nursing infant.