Font Size

warfarin (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)?

You should not take warfarin if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • hemophilia or any bleeding disorder that is inherited or caused by disease;
  • a blood cell disorder such as anemia (lack of red blood cells) or a low level of platelets in your blood;
  • blood in your urine or stools, or if you have been coughing up blood;
  • an infection of the lining of your heart (also called bacterial endocarditis);
  • stomach or intestinal bleeding or ulcer;
  • recent head injury, aneurysm, or bleeding in the brain;
  • if you have recently had or will soon have any type of surgery (especially brain, spine, or eye surgery); or
  • if you undergo a spinal tap or receive spinal anesthesia (epidural).

You should not take warfarin if you cannot be reliable in taking it because of alcoholism, psychiatric problems, dementia, or similar conditions.

Warfarin may cause you to bleed more easily, especially if you have:

  • a history of bleeding problems;
  • high blood pressure or severe heart disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • cancer;
  • surgery or a medical emergency;
  • a disease affecting the blood vessels in your brain;
  • a history of stomach or intestinal bleeding;
  • if you are 65 or older; or
  • if you are severely ill or debilitated.

FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can cause birth defects or fatal bleeding in an unborn baby. Do not use warfarin if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use effective birth control while you are using this medication.

To make sure you can safely take warfarin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

Warfarin may pass into breast milk and cause bleeding problems in the nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Never take a double dose of this medication or take it together with other products that contain warfarin or coumarin.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Take warfarin at the same time every day. Warfarin can be taken with or without food.

Avoid dieting to lose weight while taking warfarin. Tell your doctor if your body weight changes for any reason.

Call your doctor if you have any illness with diarrhea, fever, chills, body aches, or flu symptoms.

While taking warfarin, your blood will need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take warfarin. Any doctor, dentist, surgeon, or other medical care provider who treats you should know that you are taking this medication. You may need to stop taking the medicine for a short time if you need antibiotics, surgery, dental work, a spinal tap, or spinal anesthesia (epidural).

Store at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and light.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.