What you need to know about Warfarin?

What you need to know about Warfarin - Alma Health

Warfarin is a drug belonging to the drug class known as ‘Coumarins’, it’s also an anticoagulant.

It works by:

  1. Blocking the formation of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors.
  2. Inhibiting a vitamin K dependent enzyme complex, as well as two anticoagulant proteins. 

It may be used to increase the time needed by the blood to clot, medically it’s described as ‘thinning the blood’.

Usually, Warfarin is prescribed to:

  1. Decrease death risk following stroke or heart attack (myocardial infarction) caused by blood clot.
  2. Decrease the body’s ability to form blood clots so we can use it in prevention and treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).
  3. Prevent blood clots from developing as a result of atrial fibrillation or cardiac valve replacement.  

Make sure you inform your doctor about any liver or kidney disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, or high blood pressure as Warfarin may not be suitable to you. In addition to that, please note that if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant it may affect your baby’s development unless used under close medical attention.

As Warfarin has so many interactions, you should inform your doctor about any of the following:

  1. Drugs you are taking like antibiotics, oral contraceptives or pain medications.
  2. Herbal supplements like ginseng, or ginkgo.
  3. Natural juices like grapefruit.
  4. Foods high in Vitamin K like Broccoli, Spinach.

You should seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs of bleeding such as:

  1. Blood in your stools or urine
  2. Nose bleeding
  3. Bleeding gums
  4. Excessive menstrual bleeding
  5. Excessive bruising 

If you are sure you have missed your daily dose for that day you may go ahead and take it. However, if you’re not certain or it’s time to take a following day’s dose, make sure you do not double up on the dose, you can ignore the missed dose and stick to the original schedule.

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