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What is Warfarin?

Warfarin is also known by the trade names Coumadin, Marevan, Jantoven or Uniwarfin. It is an anticoagulant that will reduce blood clotting. Warfarin is used to treat stroke, heart attack and prevention of thrombosis in the veins and arteries, and for pulmonary embolism.

What should you know before taking Warfarin?

Warfarin should be taken only with a prescription and exactly how your doctor told you. Never take a smaller or a larger dose. Never try to stop the medication on your own.

Taking too much Warfarine will make you bleed, while taking less Warfarine than needed will make your blood clot.

It is important to always take Warfarin at the same time.

Consult your doctor if you have diabetes, liver, kidney problems, celiac sprue, connective tissue disorders, congestive heart failure, hemophilia or any other inherited blood diseases, blood cell problems, recent surgery or if you need any surgery shortly, or if you need any dental work.

Consult your doctor if you are pregnant, intend to get pregnant or if you are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you get pregnant while on medication with Warfarin.

Warfarin Dosage

Warfarin should always be taken at the same time at the prescribed dosage.

While taking Warfarin, it is very important to measure INR and prothrombin time regularly. They are usually measured once a week. By measuring INR and prothrombin, your doctor will have more information about the time your blood needs to clot and how much medication you need.

Warfarin should be stopped 5-7 days before you have any dental work or surgery.

Warfarin Side Effects

Taking Warfarin in the wrong dose can sometimes be life-threatening because it will make you bleed.

Many medications and food interact with Warfarin, so patients need to be cautious.

If you have an allergic reaction or if you overdose on Warfarin, seek emergency medical help.

Warfarin side effects include dizziness, weakness, headache, blurred vision, dry mouth, less or no urination, easy bruising, blood in the urine or stool, blood from the wounds, blood that won't stop from intramuscular injections, and purple or red little spots under your skin.

It is dangerous to drink alcohol while taking Warfarin. Alcohol can increase Warfarin side effects, and so increase the risk of excessive bleeding. The alcohol will increase INR.

Normally one or two glasses of alcohol will not interfere with Warfarin, while large amounts of alcohol should be avoided.

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