Coumadin is an anticoagulant which has the generic component warfarin. It is used in the prevention of blood clots. Originally intended as a pesticide for mice and rats, the medicine was later found to be effective in treating thrombosis (formation of blood clots inside blood vessels).
Coumadin was approved by FDA in the year 1954 for this purpose and has grown in popularity ever since. The generic version of this pill is also made by many manufacturers and is approved by FDA.
According to the reports released by FDA, currently about 2 million people in the United States rely on Coumadin to prevent heart disease like strokes and blood clots.
Coumadin is used to thin the blood and dissolve any blood clots present in the body. Blood clots are very common outcomes of pulmonary embolus and deep vein thrombosis. Preventing the formation of blood clots can reduce the risk of heart attack and any other serious conditions.
Coumadin is available in the tablet and injectable forms. There are multiple dosage strengths for this drug and one can choose the one that will benefit most which may be 1 mg, 2 mg, 2.5 mg, 3 mg, 4 mg, 5 mg, 6 mg, 7.5 mg, and 10 mg of Warfarin.
Coumadin must be taken exactly as it is suggested by your doctor. Coumadin dosage depends upon the condition of the individual who is taking the pill.
Refrain from taking Coumadin in the amount that is larger than prescribed by your doctor. But it must be taken under the guidance of a doctor and at the same time every day.
Your international normalized ratio (INR) needs to be tested within 7 days of taking Coumadin so the doctor can determine your dosage requirements based on the results from your blood work.
People with any bleeding disorder, stomach bleeding or blood in the stool must not take Coumadin as the interaction is deemed dangerous.
Other medications that prevent blood clots, supplements containing vitamin K and medicines that cure infection are known to interact with Coumadin and either reduce its effectiveness or increase the intensity of its side effects.
Usage of Coumadin in people who have conditions like low blood count, cancer, kidney problems, history of stroke, any major heart condition, high blood pressure, and internal bleeding is not considered as safe.
Coumadin should not be taken by pregnant women unless there is no choice as the drug increases the risk of the fetus developing birth defects and miscarriage. Inform the doctor if you are breast-feeding to ensure safe drug use.
There is a negative side to the blood thinning capability of this medicine. Since the blood flows very freely while using Coumadin, there is a scope of severe bleeding even though the injury is minor. Emergency medical attention must be given in such cases because excessive bleeding can be life-threatening. The bleeding can also be internal and happen in stomach and intestines.
Other common side effects of Coumadin are bloating in the stomach, altered taste and mild stomach pain. Other serious side effects are pain while urinating, numbness of the muscles and sudden headache.