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The active component of Coumadin is Warfarin, an anticoagulant. This drug is indicated for the treatment and prophylaxis of thrombosis, it works by preventing the clots of blood from forming in the body. The use of Coumadin can help reduce the chances of having myocardial infarction or stroke. It is also used to prevent blood clots in people after a heart-valve replacement and in those suffering from atrial fibrillation.

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What is Coumadin?
Coumadin is usually prescribed in patients with certain types of arrhythmia, deep vein thrombosis, diseases of the heart valves or increased blood coagulation, after a vascular surgery or replacement of heart valve. It also lowers the risk of having a stroke, myocardial infarction or blood clots moving to other body parts. Coumadin is administered to prevent the formation of harmful blood clots as well as to treat already existing blood clots. Such blood clots (or thrombi) can be formed in the veins, arteries and even cardiac chambers or on the heart valves. They can block the blood vessels and stop the blood flow to a body part.

How does Coumadin work?
The active component of Coumadin is Warfarin, it works by partially blocking the liver’s ability to absorb vitamin K. This vitamin is needed for the production of coagulation factors that help the blood to clot and prevent heavy bleedings. Warfarin reduces the body’s ability to form thrombi which helps stop blood clot formation and prevents the growth of already existing blood clots.

What is the right dose of Coumadin?
Coumadin starts reducing blood clotting within 24 hours after the intake of the first dose. However, it may take from 3 to 5 days to achieve full clinical effect. Different people have different reactions to this medication; therefore, the treatment regimen should be chosen individually for each patient. Too high doses of Coumadin can provoke bleeding, whereas too low doses will not be able to prevent the formation of blood clots.

When is Coumadin contraindicated?
Coumadin is contraindicated in the following cases:
  • known or suspected hypersensitivity to any of Coumadin ingredients;
  • severe bleeding;
  • pregnancy;
  • malignant hypertension;
  • spinal puncture or other procedures that could provoke uncontrollable bleeding;
  • bleeding tendencies caused by certain diseases.
To know more about Coumadin contraindications please contact your doctor.

What are the side effects of Coumadin?
Side effects of Coumadin are not too frequent and are usually manifested by bleeding. Coumadin can cause increased formation of small bruises or bleeding of gums during tooth brushing. In rare cases, it can provoke skin rash or itching, dermatitis, alopecia, chills, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, hepatitis, skin necrosis, fatigue, dizziness, etc. Inform your doctor about any unpleasant effects that you believe are caused by Coumadin.