Coumadin – is an anticoagulant that is a drug to prevent blood clotting. Its action is characterized as “indirect”. That is, the same active drug component does not affect directly the blood and its cells, but has an effect on the substances, which, in turn, provide mechanisms for clotting. Namely, Coumadin blocks the synthesis of clotting factors, occurring in a liver with participation of vitamin K. Blood thinner properties of the drug are used for thrombosis and embolism of different origin, and, in case of the threat of development of such conditions. One of the features of this drug is that it can combine therapy with other anticoagulants, e.g. with acetylsalicylic acid or heparin.
Coumadin is released in the form of pills. The instruction of drug reports that the desired degree of impact is achieved on the second or third day after the beginning of use. Coumadin is not prescribed to people with individual hypersensitivity to it, to patients with acute disorders of the kidney or liver, high blood pressure, with severe bleeding. Patients with a tendency to hemorrhage, alcoholism, gastric and duodenal ulcer, disorders of formation of platelets or kidney function should take this drug with caution. Coumadin is strictly contraindicated to pregnant women. During breastfeeding a woman can be treated with this anticoagulant weaning the baby just for the first three days of the course. Alcohol enhances the effect of Coumadin. Only a specialist can recommend the use of this drug, as there is a complex scheme to drug interactions.
Side effects and overdose
Coumadin can cause bleeding, digestive upset and allergic reactions, which can lead to skin necrosis, hair loss and so on. Even receiving therapeutic doses of this drug can cause bleeding. If it causes severe persistent bleeding, the patient requires urgent transfusion of blood and its components.
Before starting therapy you should determine the indicator INR (according to prothrombin time respectively to the coefficient of sensitivity of the thromboplastin). In the future, you should have regular (every 2-4-8 weeks) laboratory control. The drug should not be taken by pregnant women because of the revealed teratogenic effect, development of bleeding of the fetus and fetal death. Warfarin is excreted in breast milk in small amounts and has no almost no effect on the clotting of the child blood, so the drug can be used during lactation, however, it is preferable to refrain from breast-feeding on the first 3 days of therapy with warfarin. During treatment you should refrain from the use of ethanol (risk of prothrombinopenia and bleeding).
Many people are prescribed with this drug. Some people take it for a very long time, some people take it throughout life.
It should be noted that the processes of blood coagulation is very complex. Their speed depends on many factors and conditions. There are a variety of methods of analysis and control of the system, which should not be neglected, especially when you are prescribed Coumadin or other blood thinners.