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

    Men who are taking blood thinners: be aware! While blood thinners can be tremendously helpful in preventing blood clots that can lead to stroke or heart attack, taking them should not be done lightly. In many cases there is a wrong way to take blood thinners, reducing their effectiveness or increasing the risk of potential side effects. If you are taking Coumadin, or Warfarin as it is known in its generic form, or any other blood thinner, it is important to be aware of all the information at hand. Knowing more about the blood-thinning drugs you are taking can save your life. If you are a man taking Coumadin, warfarin, or other blood thinners, here are some things that you need to know.

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    How do blood thinners work?

    Blood thinners like warfarin, also known by the brand name Coumadin, work by blocking proteins in the blood that allow for clotting. While clotting the blood is essential to stopping bleeding, clots can work against the body is they are traveling through the blood, potentially blocking bloodflow to the brain or heart.

    What are common side effects of taking blood thinners?

    Common side effects of taking blood thinners include increased bleeding, and a variety of stomach-related problems such as nausea, vomiting and stomach pain, as well as a loss of appetite. These symptoms should not worsen or persist over time. 

    What are the biggest risks of taking blood thinners?

    The biggest risk of taking blood thinners is bleeding. Bleeding can occur anywhere in the body and can become a problem when taking Warfarin. If blood appears in the urine or stool, or you begin vomiting blood, you should seek treatment from a doctor right away

    Why do I need to be monitored while taking warfarin or Coumadin?

    Those taking warfarin or Coumadin need to be monitored to ensure that your blood is still able to clot. While it is made to prevent larger clots, it is not meant to stop clotting entirely. Monitoring makes sure your blood is relatively normal when taking warfarin or Coumadin.

    Which supplements and food should I avoid?

    Men taking Warfarin or other blood thinners should avoid taking Vitamin K supplements and foods containing vitamin K, since vitamin K aids in clotting. Foods containing vitamin K include spinach, kale, Brussel sprouts, parsley and green tea. 

    Can warfarin be taken with food?

    Warfarin,  along with other blood-thinning drugs, can be taken with food as long as you aren't eating anything with vitamin K. If blood thinners are causing stomach upset, you'll want to take it with food to prevent it. 

    Can I crush Xarelto or Eliquis tablets?

    Some men may find drugs like Xarelto and Eliquis difficult to swallow. If that is the case, you can, in fact, crush the pills to make them easier to swallow. However, you'll want to mix them with food like mashed potatoes or applesauce as they will leave a bad taste in your mouth is swallowed alone.

    Should I stop taking blood thinners?

    If you are considered about the side effects of taking Coumadin, Eliquis, Xarelto or other blood thinners, never just stop taking them. You should always talk to a doctor before stopping any medication.