This is general Anticoagulant Information. Please note that we are not doctors. Always contact your doctor if you have any questions or 911 in case of an emergency.

What are Anticoagulants?

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Anticoagulants are medications that slow down the body's ability to make blood clots. These medications are sometimes called blood thinners. Anticoagulants are available in the following forms: intravenous, injections under the skin, and pills.

Anticoagulants can be used to treat or prevent several medical conditions. Some of the common conditions are: Blood Clot in a vein (DVT, phlebitis), blood clot in the lung (PE), blood clot in an artery in the brain (stroke or TIA), abnormal heart rhythm, blockage of an artery in the heart which can cause a heart attack, heart valve replacement, and total joint replacement.

What is Warfarin and How much do I take?

Warfarin is one of the most frequently prescribed oral anticoagulants. It is currently available under the brand name Coumadin®

The dosage of Warfarin is specific to each patient. It is regulated according to the results of a blood test called the International Normalized Ratio (INR). The INR measures how quickly the blood is clotting and suggests if your dosage of Warfarin should be adjusted.

Other Points To Follow While Taking Anticoagulants

This is a general list to keep in mind and follow while you are taking anticoagulants.

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Safety Precautions

When To Contact Your Healthcare Provider

Important signs of bleeding you need to report or call to your doctor:

Keep all medications away from children.

Notify your healthcare provider if you become pregnant or are attempting to become pregnant. Anticoagulants pills may harm a fetus. However, anticoagulant injections are safe in pregnancy.

For information on how to administer self-injectable Low Molecular Weight Heparin (LMWH) or Lovenox®, please see the LMWH brochure located on our Downloads page.

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Important Information About Anticoagulants and Head Injuries

What should I do if I've hit my head?

If you hit your head, seek immediate medical attention. Even if you do not have any signs of a head injury you should still go to the hospital. If you wait until you have symptoms of a head injury if may be too late.

Who's at risk?

Some health conditions may increase the risk of falling. These conditions include, but are not limited to:

Treatment and Prevention

When you go to the hospital let the healthcare professionals know that you have been injured and take Coumadin or Warfarin. Your care will be expedited to ensure that you will receive a prompt diagnosis and treatment.

It is a good idea to wear a medic alert bracelet that indicates you are on Coumadin. This bracelet will alert medical personnel that you are on this medication and aid in your treatment.

Signs and Symptoms

Early signs and symptoms of a concussion/brain injury may be absent or slight. Some of these signs and symptoms may include:

Remember, you may have no symptoms after you hit your head but you still need to seek immediate medical attention.

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Page last reviewed: 12/30/2015

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