Warfarin - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Warfarin: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is warfarin?

Warfarin is a widely used anticoagulant drug, referred to as a blood thinner, although it does not thin your blood. It is prescribed to help prevent unwanted blood clots from forming. When a person takes warfarin, it takes longer for the blood to clot, and unwanted clots are less likely to develop. When you are taking warfarin, you will need to get blood tests done on a regular schedule.

What are the uses of warfarin?

Warfarin is used to treat blood clots and also prevent new blood clots from forming. Your doctor will prescribe warfarin if you have a history of clots, a stroke, a heart attack, or a clot in the leg. Warfarin uses lie in treating major conditions like:

  • Venous thrombosis (clot in deep veins)
  • Pulmonary embolism (clot in lungs)
  • Stroke and recent heart attack
  • Atrial fibrillation or abnormal heartbeat
  • Cardiac valve replacement
  • Recurrent myocardial infarction
Book Doctor Appointment
Book Online Doctor Appointment
Search Specialty Doctor
Health Packages

What are the side effects of warfarin?

The dose of warfarin should be accurately measured because an incorrect dosage can cause side effects, such as:

  • Severe headache or stomach ache
  • Reddish-brown urine
  • Red or tar-like bowel movements
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bleeding gums
  • Weakness and dizziness
  • Skin rashes
  • Heavier than usual menstrual bleeding
  • Hair loss
  • Allergic reactions like hives or itching

While the side effects are usually mild, consult your doctor if you develop any of these symptoms.


Frequently Asked Questions about Warfarin

1. What not to eat while on warfarin?

A regular, consistent diet is essential. It is recommended to avoid cranberry juice, grapefruit, pomegranate, and alcohol while on warfarin. Monitor vitamin K-rich foods like kale, spinach, cabbage, or lettuce. Your intake of vitamin K-rich food should stay the same from week to week. Ensure you eat a similar amount regularly.

2. Why take warfarin at 6 pm?

The prothrombin test, which monitors the clotting time, is generally done in the early morning. Therefore, when a dose change is required based on the report, it can be done on the same day after the result. Traditionally, 6 pm is advised as it is easy to remember. You should take warfarin at the same time daily.

3. Is apixaban better than warfarin?

Apixaban and warfarin are two anticoagulant medications that work in different ways. Recent studies proved that apixaban is more effective than warfarin for patients with atrial fibrillation, and a regular blood test to check the INR is not required. But there are other factors to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Talk to your doctor about choosing the best anticoagulant specific to your need.

4. Does papaya interact with warfarin?

Papaya has not been reported to interact with warfarin. However, a published case study has found chances of a possible interaction between warfarin and papain, a compound found in papaya. Papain may exaggerate the effects of warfarin and raise the chances of bleeding or bruising. As a precaution to avoid changes to your warfarin course and dosage, do not avoid papaya entirely, but limit its intake.

5. How to stop bleeding when on warfarin?

For patients using warfarin, it takes longer than usual for the bleeding to stop. If you get an injury, remember to:

  • Remain calm
  • Elevate the injury so that it is above your heart
  • Hold direct pressure over it with clean gauze for 15-30 minutes

Call your doctor or visit the hospital immediately if your bleeding does not stop. Frequent bleeding may be an indication of excessively high warfarin levels.

6. What anti-inflammatory can I take with warfarin?

Anti-inflammatory drugs that you get over the counter may interact with warfarin, so it is always advisable to talk with your doctor before choosing the best anti-inflammatory drug. If you take warfarin, your doctor will usually recommend Tylenol or cox-2 inhibitors like Celebrex and Vioxx, instead of ibuprofen or aspirin.

7. Why is warfarin being discontinued?

Clinically, warfarin carries a serious risk of severe bleeding events and other complications in some patients. On that basis and as a precaution, physicians prefer other anticoagulants over warfarin. It is also being discontinued in some countries due to unexpected manufacturing issues. For more info on warfarin, reach out to the team at Yashoda Hospitals.

8. When should you not take warfarin?

You shouldn't stop taking Warfarin unless advised by your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking warfarin, there is a high risk of developing a blood clot. Generally, warfarin is stopped a few days before major surgery when there is a risk of fatal bleeding due to warfarin, or pregnancy. Stopping warfarin should be done under strict medical supervision.

9. Can warfarin damage the kidneys?

Generally, warfarin is not associated with acute kidney injury risk. However, patients with reduced kidney function require lower doses of warfarin. Your doctor may prescribe routine blood creatinine tests to monitor your kidney health. Patients with atrial fibrillation taking warfarin should stay within the optimal anticoagulant range. Mismanagement of anticoagulant levels can increase their chances of kidney failure.

10. Can warfarin affect your liver?

Clinically, liver damage due to warfarin therapy is very rare. Warfarin by itself is not harmful to your liver, but when used in combination with other medications, it may cause acute liver injury. Call Yashoda Hospitals and talk to our medical advisors to know more about the necessary precautions to be taken if you have been diagnosed with liver disease. Reach out to our medical expert advisors at Yashoda Hospitals to know more about the necessary precautions, uses, dosage, and side effects of warfarin.



    • Yes Same as WhatsApp number

    • By clicking on Send, you accept to receive communication from Yashoda Hospitals on email, SMS, call and Whatsapp.


      • Yes Same as WhatsApp number

      • By clicking on Send, you accept to receive communication from Yashoda Hospitals on email, SMS, call and Whatsapp.


      Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.