Warfarin and Coumadin precautions

Five things you need to know when taking anticoagulants

Anticoagulants like Coumadin or Jantoven are prescribed to prevent the formation of blood clots.

People taking anticoagulants like Coumadin or Jantoven need to stay in close contact with their healthcare providers.

Many things factor into an individual’s international normalized ratio or INR, which is a measurement of the time it takes for a person’s blood to clot. A patient’s INR must be closely monitored when taking warfarin, also known as Coumadin or Jantoven, so it’s important to stay in close contact with your healthcare provider to avoid dangers associated with taking anticoagulant meds.

5 important warfarin and Coumadin precautions you should take:

  1. Call your healthcare provider if you get sick (including diarrhea, nausea or vomiting).
  2. Call your healthcare provider if you start or stop taking any medications, including over-the-counter medications and supplements.
  3. Notify your healthcare provider if your diet has changed recently, especially if your consumption of green, leafy vegetables or alcohol has changed.
  4. Get all medications from the same pharmacy to avoid the possibility of harmful drug interactions.
  5. Notify your healthcare provider if you forget to take a dose of your warfarin.

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New warfarin and Coumadin alternatives

Is one of the new anticoagulants right for you?

row of bottlesand pills

New anticoagulant medications for patients with afib can be effective alternatives to warfarin (Coumadin and Jantoven).

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. Because of the risk of stroke and systemic embolism associated with atrial fibrillation, patients are often prescribed anticoagulation medication to prevent these secondary adverse outcomes. The most common medication is warfarin, also known as Coumadin® or Jantoven®.

Three new medications approved for afib patients

However, three new anticoagulants have recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration: dabigatran (Pradaxa®), rivaroxaban (Xarelto®) and apixaban (Eliquis®). This means that warfarin, Jantoven® and Coumadin® alternatives are now available for patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation who need an anticoagulant. While these new medications do not require routine lab monitoring as warfarin does, patients may pay higher medication copays, depending on insurance coverage, says Brian Kurtz, clinical pharmacist, University of Michigan Cardiovascular Medicine.

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