Blood Clotting Disorder Treatment Coumadin

Coumadin® is an anticoagulant medication that is used to prevent blood clots. This medication reduces the formation of blood clots. Blood clots can increase the possibility of a stroke or heart attack.

Coumadin® is a brand name of the drug warfarin. Warfarin is generally administered orally and is prescribed to those with conditions that put them at risk for developing blood clots.

Side Effects of Coumadin®

Bleeding of a tissue or organ is the most common side effect of Coumadin®. If you notice the symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as hives or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately. Other side effects include:

  • bleeding that does not stop
  • blood in urine or stool
  • coughing up blood
  • diarrhea
  • easy bruising
  • nosebleeds or bleeing gums
  • pain in the stomach, sides or back
  • purple toes/fingers
  • severe dizziness
  • skin discolorations
  • sudden headache, leg or foot pain
  • sudden numbness or weakness.

This medication can also have some less serious side effects, which include:

  • gas/bloating
  • hair loss
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea, vomiting.

Warfarin side effects are the same as those experienced by people taking Coumadin®.

Coumadin®: Other Considerations

You should never take Coumadin® if you are pregnant or plan to get pregnant while taking the medication. People with blood diseases such as hemophilia should not take it, either. While on Coumadin®, you should discuss any of the following issues with your doctor, including:

  • diet changes
  • general health changes
  • major changes in your environment
  • travel plans
  • weight gain or loss.

Another thing that is important to remember when your doctor has prescribed this type of medication is that you must be careful with your intake of vitamin K. Vitamin K decreases the effect of Coumadin®. This is why many people have a Coumadin® diet, which means that they regulate their intake of vitamin K very carefully. Foods that contain a high amount of vitamin K include:

  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • coriander
  • green, leafy vegetables
  • liver
  • spinach
  • Swiss Chard.

In addition, people who are taking Coumadin® should avoid:

  • drinking alcohol, as this can increase the intensity of some of the side effects
  • eating cranberries or drinking cranberry juice
  • smoking or using chewing tobacco, as these products can interfere with the effectiveness of warfarin.

Coumadin® Drug Interactions

Coumadin® can have serious drug interactions. You should never take any medications of any kind without first checking with your doctor. This includes vitamin and mineral supplements and herbal treatments.

You should especially not take aspirin or any other medications that are considered non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medications taken in conjunction with Coumadin® can cause bleeding in your stomach and intestines and can also interfere with the blood clotting properties of Coumadin®.

In the case of a Coumadin® overdose, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. People who are taking this type of medication are urged to wear a medical alert bracelet in order to make rescue personnel aware of their Coumadin® use.

Resources

Bristol Myers Squibb Company (n.d.). Coumadin for Consumers. Retrieved September 23, 2007, from the Coumadin.com Web site: http://www.coumadin.com/coumadin/home/consumer_index.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes.

Cerner Multum, Inc. (n.d.). Coumadin. Retrieved September 23, 2007, from the Drugs.com Web site: http://www.drugs.com/coumadin.html.