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What should I know about Coumadin before taking it?

Before taking Coumadin, talk to your doctor about the risk of severe bleeding. Older persons are more at risk for bleeding problems. You should seek immediate medical help if you show signs of abnormal, excessive or internal bleeding. You may be given blood tests to see how you will respond to Coumadin and what your dosage should be.

You should not take this medication if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Tell your doctor if you have recently had a severe injury or bleeding problems. It is very important that you tell your doctor about all of the medications you are currently taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and supplements. Many drugs can interact with Coumadin, including antibiotics; aspirin; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); heparin; medications for cancer, cholesterol, colds and allergies, depression, diabetes, digestive problems, heart disease, mental illness, pain, seizures, thyroid problems and tuberculosis; oral contraceptives (birth control pills); streptokinase; ticlopidine; and urokinase. This is not a complete list.

Some supplements that can interact with Coumadin include: bromelains, coenzyme Q10, cranberry, danshen, dong quai, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, St. John's Wort and vitamin K. Avoid making any changes in your diet without first talking to your doctor.  Follow your doctor's specific instructions on taking medications and your diet while receiving treatment with Coumadin.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.