What is Warfarin used for?
Warfarin is used for the treatment of blood clots and deep vein thrombosis. It is also used to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Warfarin may also be prescribed for other conditions as determined by the doctor.
How does Warfarin work?
Warfarin belongs to the class of drugs called as anti-coagulants. This drug acts by decreasing the clotting factors in the blood, which results in the free flow of blood in the body.
How to take Warfarin?
The dosage and the drug form depend on the age, weight and medical condition of an individual. Take Warfarin as prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush or chew the tablet. Take the drug with or without food. However, taking the drug with food prevents stomach upset.
If you miss a dose of Warfarin, please take it immediately once you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, then skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose.
The overdose symptoms of Warfarin may include:
- Black/tarry stools
- Dark coloured urine
- Prolonged bleeding
You must seek immediate medical care if you experience any of the above symptoms.
What are the drugs that interact with Warfarin?
Drugs that interact with Warfarin include the following:
- Aluminium hydroxide
This is not a comprehensive list of drug interactions. Consult your doctor to know more about other possible drug interactions.
What are the side effects of Warfarin?
The following are the most common side effects of Warfarin:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Cold intolerance
The following are the severe side effects and you may require immediate medical attention:
- Bleeding gums
- Blood in urine
- Blurred vision
- Prolonged bleeding
- Prolonged menstrual flow
- Easy bruising
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty swallowing
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.
What special precautions should be followed while taking Warfarin?
- Avoid using the medicine if you are allergic to Warfarin or similar drugs.
- Avoid Warfarin during pregnancy or breastfeeding because the safe use of the drug is not yet established.
- Do not stop using the medication abruptly unless instructed by the doctor. Stopping the medication suddenly may cause the illness to return.
- Do not exceed the dose more than what is prescribed.
- Avoid alcohol consumption as it may alter the absorption of Warfarin.
You are advised not to take Warfarin if
- it has passed the expiry date of the medicine printed on the pack.
- the foil or packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering or there is discolouration.
What should you tell your doctor before taking Warfarin?
- Tell your doctor if you have any history of blood vessel disorders, alcohol use, mood disorders and liver disease.
- Inform the doctor if you are taking any other drugs, OTC medications, herbal products or nutritional supplements.
- Notify your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Frequently asked questions about Warfarin
- Do I need to be monitored for any laboratory parameters while taking Warfarin?
- What are the contraindications of Warfarin?
- How should Warfarin be stored?
Laboratory parameters such as complete blood cell count and prothrombin time must be monitored while taking Warfarin.
Contraindications of Warfarin include moderate-to-severe kidney impairment, gangrene, pregnancy, injury and abnormal liver function test.
Warfarin must be stored at room temperature (15 – 30OC) away from sunlight.
The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.