Coumadin side effects

Coumadin side effects :
a look at Purpose, Interactions and Warnings

Coumadin (Warfarin) is used to prevent blood clots from forming or growing larger. It is often prescribed for patients with certain types of irregular heartbeat and after a heart attack or heart valve replacement surgery. It works by stopping the formation of substances that cause clots. Warfarin also is used with other drugs in the treatment of some lung cancers.

Coumadin side effects and interactions

Tell all medical doctors, dentists, and pharmacists you go to that you are taking this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising.

Check with your health care professional before you start or stop taking any other medicine, or change the amount you are taking . This includes any nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine, even aspirin or acetaminophen. Many medicines change the way this medicine affects your body. You may not be able to take the other medicine, or the dose of your anticoagulant may need to be changed.

It is important that you carry identification stating that you are using this medicine. If you have any questions about what kind of identification to carry, check with your health care professional.

While you are taking this medicine, it is very important that you avoid sports and activities that may cause you to be injured. Report to your doctor any falls, blows to the body or head, or other injuries, since serious internal bleeding may occur without your knowing about it.

Be careful to avoid cutting yourself. This includes taking special care in brushing your teeth and in shaving. Use a soft toothbrush and floss gently. Also, it is best to use an electric shaver rather than a blade.

Drinking too much alcohol may change the way this anticoagulant affects your body. You should not drink regularly on a daily basis or take more than 1 or 2 drinks at any time. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

The foods that you eat may also affect the way this medicine affects your body. Eat a normal, balanced diet while you are taking this medicine. Do not go on a reducing diet, make other changes in your eating habits, start taking vitamins, or begin using other nutrition supplements unless you have first checked with your health care professional. Also, check with your doctor if you are unable to eat for several days or if you have continuing stomach upset, diarrhea, or fever. These precautions are important because the effects of the anticoagulant depend on the amount of vitamin K in your body. Therefore, it is best to have the same amount of vitamin K in your body every day. Some multiple vitamins and some nutrition supplements contain vitamin K. Vitamin K is also present in green, leafy vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, kale, lettuce, and spinach) and some vegetable oils. It is especially important that you do not make large changes in the amounts of these foods that you eat every day while you are taking an anticoagulant.

Check with your doctor if you are unable to eat for several days or if you have continuing stomach upset, diarrhea, or fever.

This could decrease the amount of vitamin K that gets into your body and could affect the Coumadin side effects.

Be careful if the weather is very hot for several days. This could also affect the Coumadin side effects.

After you stop taking this medicine, your body will need time to recover before your blood clotting ability returns to normal. Your health care professional can tell you how long this will take depending on which anticoagulant you were taking.

Use the same caution during this period of time as you did while you were taking the anticoagulant.

Observed Coumadin side effects

Along with its needed effects, there may be unwanted Coumadin side effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention. Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following Coumadin side effects occur:

More Commonly Observed

Since many things can affect the way your body reacts to this medicine, you should always watch for signs of unusual bleeding. Unusual bleeding may mean that your body is getting more medicine than it needs. Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following signs of bleeding or overdose occur: Bleeding from gums when brushing teeth; blood in urine; nosebleeds; pinpoint red spots on skin; unusual bleeding or bruising ; unusually heavy bleeding or oozing from cuts or wounds; unusually heavy or unexpected menstrual bleeding.

Coumadin side effects may trigger signs and symptoms of bleeding inside the body due an inappropriate dose : Abdominal or stomach pain or swelling; back pain or backaches; black, tarry stools; bleeding in eye; blood in stools; blood in vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; blood in urine; blurred vision; chest pain; confusion; constipation; coughing up blood; diarrhea (sudden and severe); dizziness or fainting; headache (continuing or severe); joint pain, stiffness, or swelling; loss of appetite; nausea and vomiting (severe); nervousness; numbness or tingling of hands, feet, or face; paralysis; shortness of breath; weakness (sudden).

Also, check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following Coumadin side effects occur:

Less Commonly Observed

Cough or hoarseness; fever or chills ; lower back or side pain; painful or difficult urination; skin rash, hives, or itching.

Rarely Observed

Blisters or itching on skin; blue or purple toes; dark urine; pain in toes; painful red sores on skin, especially on thighs, breasts, penis, or buttocks; sores, ulcers, or white spots in mouth or throat; sudden increase or decrease in amount of urine; swelling of face, feet, and/or lower legs; trouble in breathing; yellow eyes or skin.

Other Coumadin side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following Coumadin side effects continue or are bothersome:

Less Commonly Observed

Bloated stomach or gas (with dicumarol); cold intolerance; diarrhea (more common with dicumarol) ; loss of appetite; nausea or vomiting (more common with dicumarol); stomach cramps or pain.

These medicines sometimes cause temporary loss of hair on the scalp.

Depending on your diet, anisindione may cause your urine to turn orange. Since it may be hard to tell the difference between blood in the urine and this normal color change, check with your doctor if you notice any color change in your urine.

Other Coumadin side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Sources : The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP)

There are alternatives to enduring Coumadin side effects.
More information here.


Please read the Usage Agreement carefully before using this website. If you do not agree to all provisions found in the Usage Agreement then do not use this website. By using this website you are agreeing to the provisions found in the Usage Agreement.

Usage Agreement

footer for coumadin side effects page