Features January 2009 Issue

What You Need to Know About Warfarin

This common drug improves blood flow but needs proper management to avoid bleeding.

Warfarin (Coumadin) is an anticoagulant medication commonly used by heart patients to help prevent blood clots that can result in a heart attack or stroke. It works by inhibiting the action of vitamin K, which is vital to the blood-clotting process, but it’s a notoriously difficult drug to manage, particularly in those who’ve just started using it. Too high a dose raises the risk of hemorrhage, while too low a dose can mean clots still form.

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