Coumadin and other coumarin anticoagulants act by inhibiting the synthesis of vitamin K dependent clotting factors, which include Factors II, VII, IX and X, and the anticoagulant proteins C and S.
Warfarin is used to prevent blood clots from forming or growing larger in your blood and blood vessels. It is prescribed for people with certain types of irregular heartbeat, people with prosthetic (replacement or mechanical) heart valves, and people who have suffered a heart attack.
Warfarin comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take warfarin at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
The goal of warfarin therapy is to decrease the clotting tendency of blood, but not to prevent clotting completely. Therefore, the blood's ability to clot must be carefully monitored while a person takes warfarin. The dose of warfarin is adjusted to maintain the clotting time within a target range, based on the results of periodic blood tests. These tests can be done in a laboratory or using a portable device at home.Prothrombin time (PT) — The clotting test used to measure the effect of warfarin is the prothrombin time (called pro time, or PT). The PT is a laboratory test that measures the time it takes for a clot to form. It is measured in seconds. It is particularly sensitive to the clotting factors affected by warfarin. The PT is also used to compute the measure most commonly used to adjust the warfarin dose, known as the INR (or International Normalized Ratio).
Adverse effects of warfarin (Coumadin)
Severe bleeding, including heavier than normal menstrual bleeding.Red or brown urine.Black or bloody stool.Severe headache or stomach pain.Joint pain, discomfort or swelling, especially after an injury.Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.Coughing up blood.
Take it at the same time each day.Take it with a full glass of water. You can take it with or without food.Use a pillbox to help keep track of your doses.If you miss a dose, call your healthcare provider right away to find out how much to take.Never take a double dose.
What is warfarin used for?What are the teachings that nurse should teach a patient about warfarin?