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  • Generic Name: (warfarin sodium)
    Other Brands: Coumadin
  • Last Revised: 01/2016
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Warfarin tablets contain a blood thinner medicine used to treat blood clots and prevent the development of new clots in your body.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Warfarin tablets block the formation of substances in your body that help form blood clots, thereby lowering the chance of developing blood clots.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: By lowering the chance of blood clots forming in your body, warfarin tablets may reduce your risk of having a stroke, heart attack, or other serious conditions.

      When: Warfarin tablets may start working within 24 hours after taking the medicine.

      How do I know it is working?

      Your healthcare provider will order a blood test to check how well your medication is working. This blood test is called an INR test. The INR test checks to see how fast your blood clots. Your healthcare provider will decide what INR numbers are best for you. Your dose of warfarin tablets will be adjusted to keep your INR in a target range determined by your healthcare provider.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Warfarin can cause bleeding that can be life threatening. Your healthcare provider will likely perform regular blood tests to check for your response to warfarin tablets (INR test). Different medicines, changes in your diet, and other factors can affect your INR levels achieved with your warfarin therapy.

      Notify your healthcare provider if you experience any signs or symptoms of bleeding problems, such as pain, swelling, or discomfort; headaches, dizziness, or weakness; unusual bruising; nosebleeds; bleeding gums; bleeding from cuts that take a long time to stop; menstrual bleeding or vaginal bleeding that is heavier than normal; pink or brown urine; red or black stools; coughing up blood; or vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.

      More common side effects may include: bleeding.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Death of skin tissue, with symptoms such as pain, color, or temperature change to any area of your body.

      Purple toes syndrome, with symptoms such as pain in your toes and toes that look purple or dark in color.

      The 7.5-milligram tablets contain tartrazine, which may cause allergic-type reactions (including asthma) in certain people.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take warfarin tablets if you are allergic to them or any of their ingredients.

      Do not take warfarin tablets if you are pregnant, unless you have a mechanical heart valve.

      Do not take warfarin tablets if your chance of having bleeding problems is high. Your healthcare provider will decide if warfarin tablets are right for you.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with warfarin tablets. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have bleeding problems, fall often, have liver or kidney problems, have high blood pressure, have a heart problem called congestive heart failure, have diabetes, plan to have any surgery or a dental procedure, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults and children: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your condition.

      Your dose may need to be adjusted or stopped for a short time before you have surgery or dental procedures, as instructed by your healthcare provider.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take warfarin tablets exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking warfarin tablets without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Eat a normal, balanced diet while you are taking warfarin tablets and talk to your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet.

      It is important that women who may become pregnant use effective birth control during treatment and for at least 1 month after the final dose of warfarin tablets. Talk to your healthcare provider about appropriate birth control.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not do any activity or sport that may cause a serious injury.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If warfarin tablets are taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Warfarin tablets may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

      Some foods and beverages can interact with warfarin tablets and affect your treatment dose. Do not eat large amounts of leafy, green vegetables or certain vegetables oils, as they contain vitamin K. Too much vitamin K can lower the effect of warfarin tablets.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Do not take warfarin tablets during pregnancy unless your healthcare provider instructs you to do so. The effects of warfarin tablets during breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      Warfarin tablets should be taken under special circumstances determined by your healthcare provider. If you miss your scheduled dose, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature. Protect from light.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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