If you’re taking warfarin, also known as Coumadin® or Jantoven®, your doctor has prescribed this anticoagulation medication to prevent the formation of harmful blood clots or to treat an existing blood clot. Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is a common condition for taking warfarin because the risk of stroke is higher in A-fib patients.
The American Heart Association reports that more than two million Americans have atrial fibrillation, a rhythmic disorder of the heart where the atria (the heart’s pumping chambers) quiver instead of beat. As a result, some blood remains in the heart instead of being pumped out, allowing pools to collect in the heart chamber, where clots may form. These clots can travel to the brain, causing a stroke.
Other reasons warfarin is prescribed
Besides “patients with A-fib,” there are other answers to the question “Who takes warfarin?” Warfarin is also prescribed for additional reasons, including:
- Following a heart attack
- Treatment or prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or pulmonary embolism (PE)
- Heart valve disease or heart valve replacements
Other conditions include patients who have undergone surgery and must spend time in bed, risking the development of a blood clot, and those with a genetic predisposition to clotting.
The University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is the top ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.