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Microsoft word - coumadin_ed_handout.doc
Frequently Asked Questions
Follow These Tips:
What drugs interact with Coumadin?
• Take Coumadin at the same time each day. If you
miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember –
Drug interactions are common between coumadin and many drugs.
unless it’s almost time for your next dose. If so,
Please discuss and prescription and over-the-counter meds with
skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose.
your provider. Herbal medications may also interact with
• Go for your blood (protime / INR) tests as often
Coumadin. Inform your healthcare provider if you intend to take
herbal and/or natural products since you may need to be monitored
• Don’t take any other medications without
checking with your healthcare provider first. This
Can I drink alcohol with taking Coumadin?
According to the prescribing information for Coumadin, you
• Tell all healthcare providers that you take
should avoid drinking alcohol while taking Coumadin since
Coumadin. It’s also a good idea to carry a
alcohol can change the way your body responds to the medicine.
medical ID card or wear a medical-alert braclet.
You should speak to your healthcare provider about the effect of
• Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
• Don’t go barefoot. And don’t trim corns or
What should I know about the vitamin K content of foods
and Coumadin therapy?
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider:
The amount of vitamin K in your diet can change the way
Coumadin works for you. If you eat a lot of foods that are high in
Call your healthcare provider before you take your
vitamin K, you can decrease the effect of Coumadin. On the other
Coumadin if you have any of these problems:
hand, lowering your vitamin K intake can increase the effect of
Coumadin. You should try to eat a normal balanced diet keeping
• Bleeding that doesn’t stop in 10 minutes
the amount of vitamin K the same everyday. It is important that
• A heavier than normal period or bleeding
you check with your healthcare provider before making any major
In general, leafy green vegetables and certain legumes and
vegetable oils contain high amounts of vitamin K. Some foods that
are low in vitamin K include roots, bulbs, tubers, the fleshy part of
fruits, fruit juices, and other beverages. Cereal grains and other
• Red or black-and-blue marks on the skin that
milled products are also low in Vitamin K.
• A fever or an illness that gets worse
What should I do if I accidentally miss taking my daily dose
The Coumadin prescribing information states, “If the patient
• A serious fall or a blow to the head
forgets to take the prescribed dose of Coumadin at the scheduled
• Swollen lips, tongue, throat, or face
time, the dose should be taken as soon as possible on the same day.
The patient should not take the missed dose by doubling the daily
What should I do if I am planning on having surgery?
• Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
Tell your doctor. Your doctor should then discuss your condition
with your surgeon. It is very important to confirm that your doctor
and surgeon have communicated regarding your Coumadin therapy
and upcoming surgery. This includes dental surgery.
Purple discoloration of your toes or fingers
Anticoagulants such as Coumadin can increase bleeding during
surgery. Depending on your condition and what kind of surgery
you are having, your doctor and surgeon will decide if anything
needs to change in your Coumadin therapy.
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