What Women Need to Know About Using Coumadin, Warfarin and Other Blood Thinners

Attention, women on warfarin! As effective as drugs like warfarin, also known by its brand name, Coumadin can be for many women, it’s not without its risks. Blood thinning drugs like warfarin come with a number of different side effects and it is important to watch out for them. Additionally, women should take warfarin and other blood thinning drugs exactly as directed, avoiding any foods or supplements that can interfere with your blood thinner’s ability to work properly. Although many women take warfarin and other blood thinning drugs regularly, many are not aware of all the facts. But knowing the facts is always a good idea - and certainly can’t do any harm. If you are a woman taking warfarin, Coumadin or any other blood thinners, here’s what you need to know.

Why should I avoid Vitamin K?

Avoiding vitamin K is important because vitamin K is important in the blood clotting functions of the blood. So avoid taking supplements and avoid eating vitamin k-rich foods like kale and spinach.

Should I stop taking medications if I'm concerned?

If you are concerned about the side effects of your medication, do not stop taking them. Always speak to a doctor before stopping any medication as there could be adverse effects.

How do blood-thinning medications work?

Blood-thinning medications like Coumadin work by blocking clotting proteins in the blood. When blood clots become large enough, they can break off and block blood flow to the brain or heart, causing a heart attack or stroke.

Should I be concerned about bleeding?

If you are experiencing unusual bleeding, this may be cause for concern. Because blood thinners stop prevent clotting, they can prevent all clotting, which means bleeding can occur anywhere in the body, potentially causing severe blood loss. If blood appears in your urine, stool or vomit, you may want to speak to a doctor right away.

What are common side effects of blood thinners?

Drugs like warfarin come with a ton of normal but unpleasant side effects. Nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain are just a few of these symptoms. Stomach problems may also lead to a loss of appetite.

Do I need monitoring when taking warfarin?

Women taking warfarin will need monitoring to ensure that the blood can still clot. While clots that block blood flow to the heart and brain are bad, smaller clots that prevent bleeding in other areas of the body are necessary so that you don't bleed to death. Monitoring your blood will ensure that your blood can clot normally still.

Can blood thinners be taken with food?

Warfarin, Coumadin, and other blood thinners can be taken with or without food. Taking your medications with food can sometimes prevent upset stomach.

Can I crush my tablets?

If your blood thinner tablets are too large to swallow, you can crush them into some food in order to make consuming them easier. Do be sure to mix them with food as they will not be very tasty on their own.

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