Coumadin Care Center

1. How does Coumadin work?
Coumadin blocks the formation of clotting factors in the liver that are dependent on vitamin K, thus preventing the formation of blood clots.

2. What is the Blood test and what is it used for?
The blood test is called a PT/INR test. PT/INR stands for Prothrombin Time and International Normalized Ratio. These test are used to see how quickly your blood clots and whether you're getting the right amount of coumadin. The number tells your healthcare provider if coumadin is helping you maintain the appropriate PT/INR level for your condition.

3. How often should I have my blood tested?
Your healthcare provider will determine how often you will need blood tests. Your coumadin dosage may be carefully adjusted to keep your PT/INR level right for your condition.

4. What are some of the things that may change my PT/INR results?
Many over-the -counter or prescription drugs, vitamins, herbal supplements, dietary changes, and certain medical conditions can interact with coumadin. They may increase or decrease your PT/INR level. Always notify your healthcare provider of these changes.

5. What if I cut myself or start bleeding?
It may take longer for the bleeding to stop if you are cut or injured. If your cut is small apply constant pressure until the bleeding stops. This could take up to 10 minutes. If the bleeding doesn't stop continue to apply pressure and seek medical attention. If you cut is large apply pressure and seek medical attention by going to the nearest emergency room or call for medical help.

Helpful tips: Use an electric razor or hair removing cream rather than a razor blade. To reduce gum bleeding use a soft toothbrush and brush and floss gently.

6. What are the side effects of Coumadin?
Coumadin is relatively free of side effects. Coumadin does not make you drowsy , change your blood pressure, make your mouth dry, or increase your heart rate. If something feels different from normal and you make think it might be from Coumadin please discuss this with your healthcare provider.

7. Does this affect my lifestyle?
Patients taking Coumadin can continue physical activities that are safe such as walking, jogging, swimming, and gardening. These exercises are beneficial because the promote good blood circulation.

8. When should I call my healthcare provider?
Please report any fall or injury to the head or back, severe chest pain, persistent swelling of the feet and lower legs, shortness of breath other than breathing difficulties, and any changes to your general physical health.

9. What if I forgot to take my dose of Coumadin?
If you forget to take your prescribed dose at the usual time, take the dose as soon as you can or as soon as you remember. If you remember the next day wait until your next dose is due. Do not take extra doses of coumadin to make up for missed doses unless advised by your healthcare provider. Taking too large of an amount at one time can be dangerous and could cause bleeding.

10. When is the best time to take my Coumadin each day?
Coumadin is taken just once a day. We advise patients to take coumadin approximately the same time each day, usually 6:00pm. If you have a hard time remembering to take coumadin in the evening its best to take your medication when it best suits you as long as its approximately the same time each day. Coumadin can be taken with or with out food.

If you would like additional information about our practice please call us @ 302-645-1233.



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