Important anticoagulant precautions

Vitamin K and aspirin can have a critical impact on blood-thinning meds

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Blood-thinning medications can be impacted by vitamin K and aspirin-containing products.

The formation of a clot in the body is a complex process that involves multiple substances called “clotting factors.” Clotting factors are proteins made in the liver. Some of these proteins, however, cannot be created without vitamin K, a common vitamin found in:

  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • spinach
  • other leafy green vegetables

Because anticoagulants such as warfarin (also known as Coumadin® or Jantoven®) slow clot formation by competing with vitamin K, it’s important to maintain a consistent daily intake of vitamin K and to be aware of anticoagulant precautions. Each person’s warfarin dosage is related to the amount of vitamin K in his or her body. If you overload your system with vitamin K, you override the effectiveness of the blood-thinning medication. Continue reading

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

Continue reading