PATIENT NAME: _______________________________________________
PRESCRIBING DOCTOR: _____________________________________________
DOCTOR'S PHONE: _____________________________
Your doctor has prescribed Coumadin® (also called warfarin) for you. By reducing
your blood‘s ability to clot, this medication prevents harmful clots from
forming in your blood vessels. Coumadin® won‘t dissolve clots that you
already have, but it should stop clots from growing larger and traveling,
preventing complications like stroke or a blood clot to the lungs.
How to take Coumadin®
Take Coumadin® only as your doctor directs. Don‘t
take more or less and don‘t take it more often or longer than he/she directs.
Take it at the same time each day, preferably in the evening between 6 and 7
p.m. This way, your doctor has time to call you with any changes in your dose
The dosage is determined by regular testing of your blood to
see how many seconds it takes for your blood to clot
What you need to know about where your blood is being tested
If having home blood draws, a nurse or lab
technician will be taking a tube of your blood to a laboratory for testing. Take
special note of the name and phone number of the laboratory where your blood is
to be taken. Your doctor may need this information and call you if he/she did
not receive the report. You should note the following:
The name and phone number of the lab to which your blood will be taken:
The name and phone number of the agency drawing your blood:
Usually, the doctor will notify you about blood clotting results either the same day or the next day. If after 12-24 hours, you have not heard back about your test results, call your practitioner and inquire about the results yourself, and ask if a change in dosage is needed.
What to do if you forget to take a dose
If you forget to take your Coumadin®, call your
doctor for instructions. If you miss an entire day, don‘t take the missed dose
at all and NEVER take a double dose as this may cause bleeding.
Report any signs of bleeding
Notify your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms: bleeding gums when you brush your teeth, bruising or purplish marks on your
skin, coughing up blood, nosebleed, vomiting, prolonged bleeding or oozing from
a cut or wound, red or black tarry stools, red or dark brown urine, excessive or
unexpected menstrual flow, unusual pain or swelling in your abdomen with
excessive thirst. Notify your doctor if any illness develops or if you have unusual pain or swelling in your joints, unusual
backaches, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness or a severe headache.
- If you are to have your blood tested at an outpatient laboratory or doctor‘s
office, remember to keep your appointments. If the test shows that your
blood is not clotting within a therapeutic range, your doctor may want to
adjust the dose.
- Reduce risk of injury. Always wear shoes. Place a nonskid mat in your bathtub.
Shave with an electric razor. Use a soft toothbrush. Avoid risky activities
like rough-housing with children or pets or cutting hard-to-slice items such
as lemons, tomatoes or bagels.
- Inform your doctors and your dentist that you are taking Coumadin© before
undergoing any treatment.
- Check with your doctor before doing any strenuous exercise.
- Check with your doctor before starting a trip.
- Notify your doctor immediately if you become pregnant. If you are considering
becoming pregnant, think about delaying pregnancy or discuss it with your
doctor. Coumadin®can impair your baby‘s development and cause placental
- Check with your doctor before taking any vitamin preparation, cold or cough
medicine, laxative or pain medicine. Aspirin, ibuprofen and other aspirin-like products may increase the likelihood of bleeding. Tylenol®
(acetaminophen) can also intensify Coumadin‘s®
- Remember to let all of your doctors know about every medicine you are
taking, including over-the-counter drugs, birth control pills, vitamins,
herbals and other supplements.
Do not adjust your diet –Certain
foods high in vitamin K can interfere with Coumadin‘s® effectiveness
but your dosage will be regulated around your usual dietary intake. Foods high in vitamin K are beef liver, chicken liver, pork liver, green
teas, broccoli, kale, spinach, cauliflower, garbanzo beans (chick peas), collard or mustard greens,
lentils, cabbage and lettuce, especially Romaine lettuce.
Avoid all herbal preparations while taking Coumadin® as this can affect bleeding times.
Limit alcohol to one drink per day as this can affect Coumadin® levels.