This medication is used to treat blood clots (such as in deep vein thrombosis-DVT or pulmonary embolus-PE) and/or to prevent new clots from forming in your body. Preventing harmful blood clots helps to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack. Conditions that increase your risk of developing blood clots include a certain type of irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation), heart valve replacement, recent heart attack, and certain surgeries (such as hip/knee replacement).Warfarin is commonly called a “blood thinner,” but the more correct term is “anticoagulant.” It helps to keep blood flowing smoothly in your body by decreasing the amount of certain substances (clotting proteins) in your blood.
How to use Warfarin SODIUM
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking warfarin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor or other health care professional, usually once a day. It is very important to take it exactly as directed. Do not increase the dose, take it more frequently, or stop using it unless directed by your doctor.
Dosage is based on your medical condition, laboratory tests (such as INR), and response to treatment. Your doctor or other health care provider will monitor you closely while you are taking this medication to determine the right dose for you.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
It is important to eat a balanced, consistent diet while taking warfarin. Some foods can affect how warfarin works in your body and may affect your treatment and dose. Avoid sudden large increases or decreases in your intake of foods high in vitamin K (such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables, liver, green tea, certain vitamin supplements). If you are trying to lose weight, check with your doctor before you try to go on a diet.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.
Nausea, loss of appetite, or stomach/abdominal pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication can cause serious bleeding if it affects your blood clotting proteins too much (shown by unusually high INR lab results). Even if your doctor stops your medication, this risk of bleeding can continue for up to a week. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of serious bleeding, including: unusual pain/swelling/discomfort, unusual/easy bruising, prolonged bleeding from cuts or gums, persistent/frequent nosebleeds, unusually heavy/prolonged menstrual flow, pink/dark urine, coughing up blood, vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds, severe headache, dizziness/fainting, unusual or persistent tiredness/weakness, bloody/black/tarry stools, chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin.
This drug rarely has caused very serious (possibly fatal) problems if its effects lead to small blood clots (usually at the beginning of treatment). This can lead to severe skin/tissue damage that may require surgery or amputation if left untreated. Patients with certain blood conditions (protein C or S deficiency) may be at greater risk. Get medical help right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: painful/red/purplish patches on the skin (such as on the toe, breast, abdomen), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine), vision changes, confusion, trouble speaking, weakness on one side of the body.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.