warfarin (generic name)

It is used to treat or prevent clots in the veins, arteries, lungs, or heart
(WAR far in)
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What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need to have your blood checked regularly to make sure you are getting the right dose of this medicine. When you first start taking this medicine, these tests are done often. Once the correct dose is determined and you take your medicine properly, these tests can be done less often.

While you are taking this medicine, carry an identification card with your name, the name and dose of medicine(s) being used, and the name and phone number of your doctor or health care professional or person to contact in an emergency.

Do not start taking or stop taking any medicines or over-the-counter medicines except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

You should discuss your diet with your doctor or health care professional. Do not make major changes in your diet. Many foods contain high amounts of vitamin K, which can interfere with the effect of this medicine. Your doctor or health care professional may want you to limit your intake of foods that contain vitamin K. Some foods that have moderate to high amounts of vitamin K are green leafy vegetables like beet greens, collard greens, endive, kale, mustard greens, spinach, turnip greens, watercress, and certain lettuces like green leaf or romaine. Some other foods that have high to moderate amounts of vitamin K are asparagus, black eye peas, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cucumber with peel, okra, peas, parsley, and green onions.

This medicine can cause birth defects or bleeding in an unborn child. Women of childbearing age should use effective birth control while taking this medicine. If a woman becomes pregnant while taking this medicine, she should discuss the potential risks and her options with her health care professional.

Avoid sports and activities that might cause injury while you are using this medicine. Severe falls or injuries can cause unseen bleeding. Be careful when using sharp tools or knives. Consider using an electric razor. Take special care brushing or flossing your teeth. Report any injuries, bruising, or red spots on the skin to your doctor or health care professional.

If you have an illness that causes vomiting, diarrhea, or fever for more than a few days, contact your doctor. Also check with your doctor if you are unable to eat for several days. These problems can change the effect of this medicine.

Even after you stop taking this medicine, it takes several days before your body recovers its normal ability to clot blood. Ask your doctor or health care professional how long you need to be careful. If you are going to have surgery or dental work, tell your doctor or health care professional that you have been taking this medicine.

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Last Updated: November 15, 2012
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