Ten Commandments of Coumadin Lessons Learned from a 20-Year Veteran of Anticoagulation Therapy
- Commandment One defines what “thin” vs “thick” blood really means and how warfarin maintains the balance between them. It identifies dangerous symptoms, so you know when to get help. The related first commandment facts provide details about the coagulation cascade. It describes how blood clots and how warfarin interferes with it by blocking vitamin K.
- Commandment Two emphasizes the need to take warfarin every day as prescribed by your doctor. The second commandment facts describe how dosages are determined and show how to identify dosages by color, size, and shape of warfarin tablets.
- Commandment Three describes the importance of the blood test that measures how fast your blood takes to clot. It is the only way to determine if warfarin is maintaining the balance between excessive bleeding and dangerous clotting. The facts related to Commandment Three describe how the speed of blood clotting is measured with the Prothrombin Time and the International Normalized Ratio (INR).
- Commandment Four explains the importance of informing all your health care providers that you take warfarin. You should develop a good relationship with the provider who monitors your coumadin dosage so you can discuss new medications before you begin taking them. The fourth commandment facts provide a list of questions that you can ask your doctor so you fully understand the impact of taking warfarin.
- Commandment Five describes the importance of eating regularly and eating balanced. Ensure you eat foods high in Vitamin K and balance them with foods that have blood thinning properties. You can eat foods and supplements that contain vitamin K, but consistently. The fifth commandment facts provide details and references for foods and liquids that you can incorporate into your diet.
- Commandment Six explains the importance of avoiding other medications that interact with warfarin. Before purchasing over the counter remedies draw on the expertise of your pharmacist to help you make the right choice. The sixth commandment facts details medications that have clinically significant drug interaction with warfarin.
- Commandment Seven emphasizes the importance of seeking medical help if you are injured and especially if you experience trauma. Commandment Seven facts detail the frequency of brain injuries for people on warfarin.
- Commandment Eight is for women in warfarin. It describes dangers associated with birth defects, hemorrhagic ovarian cysts, and excessive menstrual bleeding, which can lead to anemia. Eight commandment facts provide statistical data and reference information so women on warfarin can get more information.
- Commandment Nine cautions readers against listening to advice from people who do not know you or your condition. Before taking their advice or becoming an internet doctor, check with the medical professional who manages your warfarin dosing. The ninth commandment facts provide details of warfarin dosing for different medical conditions.
- Commandment Ten emphasizes the importance of getting and staying healthy now and for the long term. It identifies what you should and should not do now and how vitamin K deficiency can affect you long term. It provides recommendations that will get you and keep you healthy.
The final section of the Ten Commandments of Coumadin® (Warfarin) contain lists and logs that you can use to keep track of your medications and medical providers, your INR, and to plan a diet that balances foods high in vitamin K with blood thinning foods.