Coumadin

warfarin sodium


Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet

This leaflet answers some common questions asked about Coumadin. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed up the risks of you taking Coumadin against the expected benefits.

If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may want to read it again later.

What Coumadin is used for

Coumadin contains an active ingredient called warfarin. This type of medication is called an anticoagulant. Some people refer to anticoagulant medicines as “blood thinners”.

It helps to prevent blood from excessive clotting or forming harmful clots. Excessive clotting sometimes occurs when physical mobility is low. If excessive clotting is not treated, it can lead to serious health problems such as strokes or heart attacks.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Coumadin has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed Coumadin for another reason.

There are two brands of warfarin. They are called Coumadin and Marevan. Do not swap from one brand to the other. You should not combine these brands.

There is no evidence that Coumadin is addictive.

Coumadin is only available with a doctor’s prescription.

Before you use it

When you must not use it

Do not take Coumadin during pregnancy. Taking Coumadin during pregnancy may harm the developing baby. If you are considering becoming pregnant or it is possible for you to become pregnant while taking Coumadin, tell your doctor who can help you weigh the benefits of taking Coumadin against the possible risks.

Do not take Coumadin if you have had an allergic reaction to:

  • warfarin
  • any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
  • Marevan (another brand of warfarin).

Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include: itchy skin rash; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face and tongue.

Do not take Coumadin if you have bleeding tendencies or abnormal blood cells. Coumadin may make bleeding tendencies worse.

Do not take Coumadin if you have moderate to severe high blood pressure. The risk of bleeding in this situation may be increased by taking Coumadin.

Do not take Coumadin after the expiry date (EXP) printed on the bottle. It may have no effect at all, or worse, an entirely unexpected effect if you take it after the expiry date.

Do not take Coumadin if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.

Before you start to use it

You must tell your doctor if you:

  • are breastfeeding
  • are going to have any dental treatment
  • have recently had or are going to undergo any surgical procedures or operations
  • are starting any sports activities that may result in traumatic injury
  • are going to travel or go on holidays.

Your doctor or pharmacist is best able to advise you about combining these situations with taking Coumadin.

Tell your doctor if you currently have or have had any of the following health/medical conditions:

  • liver, kidney or intestinal disease such as coeliac disease
  • high blood pressure
  • a deficiency in Protein C
  • an ulcer in your stomach or duodenum
  • red or black bowel motions
  • internal bleeding such as bleeding in the brain
  • bleeding tendencies
  • fits or convulsions
  • thyroid problems
  • heart problems
  • psychiatric problems
  • severe diabetes
  • long-lasting infections, diarrhoea, vomiting or fever