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Warfarin

Warfarin (also known by the brand names Coumadin, Jantoven, Marevan, Uniwarfin, Warf) is an anticoagulant normally used in the prevention of thrombosis and thromboembolism, the formation of blood clots in the blood vessels and their migration elsewhere in the body respectively. It was initially introduced in 1948 as a pesticide against rats and mice and is still used for this purpose, although more potent poisons such as brodifacoum have since been developed. In the early 1950s, warfarin was found to be effective and relatively safe for preventing thrombosis and thromboembolism in many disorders. It was approved for use as a medication in 1954 and has remained popular ever since; warfarin is the most widely prescribed oral anticoagulant drug in North America.
Despite its effectiveness, treatment with warfarin has several shortcomings. Many commonly used medications interact with warfarin, as do some foods (particularly leaf vegetable foods or "greens," since these typically contain large amounts of vitamin K1) and its activity has to be monitored by blood testing for the international normalized ratio (INR) to ensure an adequate yet safe dose is taken. A high INR predisposes to a high risk of bleeding, while an INR below the therapeutic target indicates that the dose of warfarin is insufficient to protect against thromboembolic events.
USA Gov. National Library of Medicine: Warfarin
Take Coumadin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than your doctor tells you to. Never take a double dose of this medication.
Take Coumadin at the same time every day. Coumadin can be taken with or without food.
Tell your doctor if you have any illness with diarrhea, fever, chills, body aches, or flu symptoms. Tell your doctor if your body weight changes for any reason.
While using Coumadin, you will need frequent "INR" or prothrombin time tests (to measure how long it takes your blood to clot). You may not notice any change in your symptoms, but your blood work will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with warfarin. You must remain under the care of a doctor while using Coumadin. Do not miss any follow-up appointments.
Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take Coumadin. Any doctor, dentist, surgeon, or other medical care provider who treats you should know that you are taking this medication. You may need to stop taking the medicine for a short time if you need antibiotics, surgery, dental work, a spinal tap, or spinal anesthesia (epidural).
Store Coumadin at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and light.





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