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Taking warfarin (Coumadin) - what to ask your doctor

Definition

Warfarin (Coumadin) is a medicine that helps keep your blood from clotting. This may be important if you have already had blood clots, or if your doctor is worried that you may form a blood clot.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you when you take warfarin.

Alternate Names

Warfarin - what to ask your doctor; Coumadin - what to ask your doctor; What to ask your doctor about taking warfarin (Coumadin)

Questions

Why am I taking warfarin?

  • What is a blood thinner?
  • How does it work?
  • Are there alternative blood thinners I could use?

What will be changed for me?

  • How much bruising or bleeding should I expect?
  • Are there exercises, sports activities, or other activities that are not safe for me?
  • What should I do differently at school or work?

How should I take warfarin?

  • Do I take it every day? Will it be the same dosage? What time of the day should I take it?
  • How can I tell the different warfarin pills apart?
  • What should I do if I am late for a dose? What should I do if I forget to take a dose?

Can I still take acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)? What about other pain medicines? How about cold medicines? What should I do if a doctor gives me a new prescription?

Do I need to make any changes in what I eat or drink? Can I drink alcohol?

Are there changes I should make around the home?

What should I do if I fall?

What are the signs or symptoms that I may be bleeding somewhere in my body?

Do I need any blood tests? Where do I get them? How often?

Media

    Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.