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Warfarin: Information About Warfarin | Warfarin Interactions | Warfarin Side Effects Coumadin

Updated: Apr 14




Hey guys! This weeks video is a short guide on warfarin also known as (coumadin). I see many patients on warfarin everyday and they are very knowledgable about their medicine, which is fantastic! But here's some information about warfarin, how it works, international normalised ratio (INR) and interactions which you may find useful.



WHAT IS WARFARIN:

Warfarin is the main oral anticoagulant used in the UK. An anticoagulant is a medicine that prevents blood clotting.


Clotting (thickening) is a complex process involving a number of substances called clotting factors.


Clotting factors are produced by the liver and help control bleeding. They work with cells that trigger the clotting process (platelets) to ensure blood clots effectively.


Warfarin blocks one of the enzymes (proteins) that uses vitamin K to produce clotting factors. This disrupts the clotting process, making it take longer for the blood to clot.



WHEN IS WARFARIN PRESCRIBED:

Anticoagulant medicines, such as warfarin, are often prescribed for people who've had a condition caused by a blood clot or have an increased risk of developing harmful blood clots.



TAKING WARFARIN:

It's very important that you take warfarin exactly as directed. Don't increase your prescribed dose unless the doctor in charge of your care advises you to.


Warfarin is taken once a day, usually in the evening. It's important to take your dose at the same time each day, before, during or after a meal.


The aim of warfarin therapy is to decrease the blood's tendency to clot, but not stop it clotting completely. This means the dose of warfarin you're taking must be carefully monitored and, if necessary, adjusted.


You'll have regular blood tests at your GP surgery or local anticoagulant clinic to make sure your dose is correct.


The INR is a measure of how long it takes your blood to clot. When you start taking warfarin, you may be given a yellow booklet about anticoagulants, which explains your treatment.



INTERACTIONS WITH WARFARIN


Medicines

Warfarin can interact with many other medicines, herbal medicines and supplements. Always ask your pharmacist, GP or staff at your anticoagulant clinic before you take them as they may interact with your warfarin.


Also visit https://bnf.nice.org.uk/interaction/warfarin.html to check medication interactions.


Foods and drink

Foods containing large amounts of vitamin K include:


• Green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach

• Vegetable oils

• Cereal grains

• Small amounts of vitamin K can also be found in meat and dairy foods.


When your first dose of warfarin is prescribed, it doesn't matter how much vitamin K you're eating because the dosage will be based on your current blood clotting levels.


However, if you make significant changes to your diet, such as increasing your vitamin K intake or cutting out foods that contain vitamin K, it could interfere with how warfarin works.


Consult the healthcare professional responsible for your care before making any significant changes to your diet while taking warfarin. Why you should avoid cranberry juice whilst taking warfarin is in the link lower down.


Alcohol

Getting drunk or binge drinking is dangerous while taking warfarin. It may increase the effect of the drug, increasing the risk of bleeding.


See links below for more information.



SIDE EFFECTS , WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION & MORE INFORMATION:

Visit the following links,


ONLINE YELLOW BOOK LINK:




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Disclaimer:

This video is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Abraham The Pharmacist has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Always consult a doctor or other healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.

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