The most commonly prescribed anticoagulant is warfarin. The newer types of anticoagulants are also available and are becoming increasingly common. There are: rivaroxaban (Xarelto), dabigatran (Pradaxa), apixaban (Eliquis), and edoxaban (Lixiana). Warfarin and the newer alternatives are taken as tablets or capsules. There’s also an anticoagulant called heparin that can be given by injection.
The mechanism of warfarin :
Warfarin decreases the body’s ability to form blood clots by blocking the formation of vitamin K–dependent clotting factors. That is the biosynthesis and the activation of these clotting factors depends on vitamin K. It is essential that vitamin K is needed to make clotting factors and prevent bleeding. Therefore, by giving a medication that blocks these clotting factors, your body can stop harmful clots from forming and prevent clots from getting larger.
Warfarin Interacts with Other Medications :
Patients who take warfarin should consult with their healthcare provider before taking any new medication, including over-the-counter (nonprescription) drugs, herbal medicines, vitamins or any other products. Many medications can alter the effectiveness of warfarin, resulting in an INR that is either too high or too low. Some of the most common over-the-counter pain relievers, such as: ibuprofen (brand name Advil) and naproxen (brand name Aleve), enhance the anticoagulant effects of warfarin and increase the likelihood of harmful bleeding.
Warfarin Interacts with Alcohol & With Certain Foods :
Alcohol intake can affect how the body metabolizes warfarin. Patients undergoing warfarin therapy should avoid drinking alcohol on a daily basis. Some foods can interfere with the effectiveness of warfarin. The most important point to remember is to eat what you normally eat and not to make any major changes in your diet without contacting your healthcare provider. Eating an increased amount of foods rich in vitamin K can lower the PT and INR, making warfarin less effective and potentially increasing the risk of blood clots.
Counseling Point for Anticoagulant :
If you are going to have surgery or a test such as an endoscopy, make sure your doctor or surgeon is aware that you are taking anticoagulants, as you may have to stop taking them for a short time.
If you’re taking warfarin, you will also need to avoid making significant changes to what you normally eat and drink, as this can affect your medication.
Two test you need to be familiar with if you are taking warfarin. It is Prothrombin time (PT) and International Normalized Ration (INR).
PT is the time it takes for the blood formation to form after calcium and thromboplastin is added to citrate plasma.
INR is a formula that will give you a number; It has a tight range. The higher is your INR number, the thinner is your blood, and easy to bleed. However, the lower is your INR number, the higher is your risk for a blood clot.
Remember Any question you may have do not hesitate to ask your health care teams. Your doctor will make recommendations based on the type of problem you have, your health, and other factors. Your body is the Temple of God, please take good care of it.
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