Coumadin
DESCRIPTION

Coumadin is a type of medication that is known as an anticoagulant. The primary ingredient in Coumadin is warfarin sodium. It is available both as a tablet as well as an intravenous injection.

How It Works

Blood clots can be dangerous within the body. One of the important components of clotting factors are due to the presence of Vitamin K. The clotting factors, in turn, ensure that a protein called fibrinogen is converted to fibrin. This fibrin fixes to the platelets in the blood, forming blood clots. What Coumadin does is to limit the function of the Vitamin K, which minimizes the clotting factors. This reduces the rest of the process as well.

Uses

Coumadin is given to individuals who are at risk of blood clot formation in arteries and veins. This minimizes the possibility of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious medical conditions.

Dosage

The amount of Coumadin is carefully tailored to each patients International Normalized Ratio level. This is the amount of time that it takes for each individual’s blood to clot. Only based on the results of an INR will the doctor decide how much of the Coumadin should be taken. The medical issue from which the patient is suffering from will also be taken into consideration.

To reduce the possibility of side effects or any other adverse reactions, it is vital that only the mentioned amount of Coumadin is consumed. Do not stop, reduce, or intensify your consumption of warfarin.

The dose for intravenous injection is often the same as the oral version. The intravenous injection will need to first be reconstituted, however.
If you miss your daily dose of Coumadin, you should take it as soon as possible, within the course of the same day. You should never take more than a single dose of Coumadin at the same time, however.

Side Effects

It is not at all that common to experience side effects while taking Coumadin. Nonetheless, some of the issues you may face are:

Discomfort in the joints
Muscular pain
Cramping or pain in the stomach
Bleeding from the gums
Presence of blood in stools or urine
Unpleasant bodily sensations
Confusion
Chest pains

Some of these problems may be quite minor while others may prove to be more dangerous. You should talk to a clinician if you have any health or medical concerns regarding your treatment.

Precautions

Coumadin is not recommended if you have:

An increased sensitivity to Coumadin or its components
A bleeding disorder or bleeding due to another medical issue
Blood cell disorder
Been coughing up blood or noticed blood in your urine or stool
Ulcers in the digestive system
Bleeding in the digestive tract or system
Infections in the lining of the heart
Elevated blood pressure
Recent head trauma or aneurysm
A upcoming surgery
Tests or medications related to your spine
Alcohol dependency
Dementia or related issues

There are certain instances in which taking Coumadin could cause you to bleed more easily. This includes:

History of bleeding
Kidney or liver problems
Heart disease or high blood pressure
Elderly individuals
Have a severe disability or illness
Disease associated with blood vessels in the brain
Surgery or injections
Cancer

Self-Care

Unless a doctor has told you to continue treatment, do not take Coumadin while you are pregnant. It may cause certain birth defects.

It is not known whether Coumadin can show up in breast milk.

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