Warfarin Oral Uses and How to Use

  • Uses

    This medication is used to treat blood clots (such as in deep vein thrombosis-DVT or pulmonary embolus-PE) and/or to prevent new clots from forming in your body. Preventing harmful blood clots helps to reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack. Conditions that increase your risk of developing blood clots include a certain type of irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation), heart valve replacement, recent heart attack, and certain surgeries (such as hip/knee replacement).

    Warfarin is commonly called a "blood thinner," but the more correct term is "anticoagulant." It helps to keep blood flowing smoothly in your body by decreasing the amount of certain substances (clotting proteins) in your blood.

    How To Use

    Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking warfarin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

    Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor or other health care professional, usually once a day. It is very important to take it exactly as directed. Do not increase the dose, take it more frequently, or stop using it unless directed by your doctor.

    Dosage is based on your medical condition, laboratory tests (such as INR), and response to treatment. Your doctor or other health care provider will monitor you closely while you are taking this medication to determine the right dose for you.

    Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

    It is important to eat a balanced, consistent diet while taking warfarin. Some foods can affect how warfarin works in your body and may affect your treatment and dose. Avoid sudden large increases or decreases in your intake of foods high in vitamin K (such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables, liver, green tea, certain vitamin supplements). If you are trying to lose weight, check with your doctor before you try to go on a diet.

    Cranberry products may also affect how your warfarin works. Limit the amount of cranberry juice (16 ounces/480 milliliters a day) or other cranberry products you may drink or eat.