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Warfarin side effects: What you need to know

Jantoven and Coumadin side effects can be minor or serious

rowofbottlesandpillsAnticoagulation medications require monitoring and lifestyle adjustments, but they can be effectively and safely managed, says Elizabeth Renner, clinical pharmacist at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Medicine department. “As soon as you start taking a medication that affects clotting, you need to be on the lookout for potential side effects,” Renner says. When taking warfarin, also known as Coumadin® or Jantoven®, “some patients develop side effects early in the course of treatment and some later.” Others, she says, don’t experience any side effects at all.

Be aware of minor warfarin side effects

A patient may experience minor symptoms as a result of anticoagulation medications. If you do experience any of these, says Renner, you may need to have your INR (international normalized ratio) checked to make sure there are no underlying problems. Minor symptoms include:

  • Gums bleeding while brushing your teeth
  • Occasional nosebleed
  • Easy bruising
  • Prolonged bleeding after a minor cut
  • Prolonged menstrual bleeding

Serious anticoagulant side effects require action

More serious symptoms require immediate medical attention by a healthcare professional, says Renner. These include:

  • Heavy or uncontrolled bleeding (from a cut, for example)
  • Serious fall or head injury
  • Blood in the stool or urine
  • Dizziness
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Signs and symptoms of a stroke or clots (redness, swelling or pain in a limb)
  • Any other serious symptoms or changes

 

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