Warfarin is a medication which belongs to the class of drugs called anticoagulants or blood thinners. Thus, warfarin is used for prevention and treatment of health problems related to blood-clotting. However, like many other medications, this one can also be used for purposes not listed in many medication guides of this type.
Warfarin is an Anticoagulant Medication
The main purpose of the anticoagulant characteristics of warfarin is prevention and treatment of strokes, as well as heart attacks and blood clots in veins and arteries. Yet, in order to get the most out of this drug, you are advised to pay attention to the factors mentioned below.
First of all, warfarin should not be taken by pregnant women or women who are planning to concieve, due to the fact that the drug can cause health problems to the fetus. Also, people who suffer from bleeding disorders or blood cell disorders should stay away from warfarine, along with people who suffer from infections affecting the lining of the heart and stomach or brain bleeding. Furthermore, individuals who are supposed to undergo a surgery soon or have recently done so, as well as those who need to receive anesthesia or spinal tap, all should avoid taking warfarin in order to prevent numerous possible side-effects from taking place.
Some other situations you are advised to inform your doctor about, when having warfarin prescribed, are history of bleeding problems or conditions related to this occurrence, hypertension or some serious heart diseases and kidney disorders. Also, cancer, past medical interventions you have undergone and all other important parts of your medical history are best to be reported to the doctor.
Nevertheless, even when all the above factors are ruled out, you are advised to be very careful and refrain from taking this medication while taking some other drugs, especially over-the-counter medications and herbal products. The outcome of such combinations can even be death.
Also, taking into consideration that this medication results in increased risk of bleeding, you are not advised to take them if you suffer from disease-caused bleeding problems, anemia or similar conditions, or if you find blood in your urine or stool. In addition, avoid taking warfarin if you have suffered from head trauma, brain hemorrhage or aneurysms.
Finally, warfarin is known to cause bleeding in people who are older than 65, people with severe debilitations or terminal illnesses and individuals who suffer from cancer or some kidney diseases. On the other hand, diabetics, those with intestinal disorders and people who suffer from heart conditions, hyperthyroidism, along with other illnesses, should have the dosage of this medication modified and changed in order to avoid health further health problems.
If you happen to miss a warfarin dose, take one as soon as you remember this, unless the second dose is already due. In the latter case, take the second dose without making up for the previous one. Either way, before taking any steps, consider yourself advised to contact your doctor. Store this medication according to the information that is obtained with it and follow all the instructions you get from your health provider.
Side-Effects of Warfarin
As far as severe, and the rarest, side-effects related to warfarine are concerned, these are bleeding and necrosis. While bleeding can affect any organ or tissue in the body, gangrene, caused by this medication, appears mostly on the surface of the skin. If the bleeding, as a side-effect, affects the brain, headaches and paralysis may occur. If bleeding appears in the joints, inflammation, joint pain and swelling may take place.
Furthermore, if the bleeding occurs inside the stomach or the intestine, the effects will be manifested through weakness, fainting, black stools, vomiting of blood or some materials resembling coffee ground found in the vomit or after coughing. When the bleeding appears in the kidneys, the side-effects of warfarin can be narrowed down to back pain and blood found in the urine. Ultimately, some other adverse reactions to these medications encompass purple and painful toes, loss of hair, flatulence, diarrhea, jaundice, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, increased and heavy menstrual bleeding and bruising.
Therefore, do not risk suffering from these, serious side-effects. Rather, consult with your health provider adequately and have all the conditions which might lead to unwanted symptoms prevented and ruled out, using warfarin for its proper, healthy effect or switching to another type of similar medication, if warfarin is too dangerous for you.
All in all, warfarin is an anticoagulant, preventing blood clots and the conditions caused by this occurrence. Hence, the number of people who can benefit from this medication is countless. Nevertheless, like any other drug of this type, warfarin is known to trigger certain unwanted effects when not taken according to your doctor's instructions. Bear the above mentioned facts in mind and make sure that you only take warfarin if it is completely safe for you to do so.