If you belong to social media groups related to your health condition, you may see postings by people asking questions that should be directed to their doctor. Your doctor has the complete picture of your health care so you should seek answers there before making decisions based on input from people with very different conditions and experiences.
When you visit your doctor, bring is a list of important questions to ask. Consider bringing a trusted friend to the appointment with you to help you ask your questions and write down the answers. If the doctor can not answer your questions, he will refer you to another professional who can so you get informed answers. Your doctor will appreciate your interest in your own health.
When you take Coumadin® or any form of Warfarin, here are some of the questions you should get answered by your doctor.
How Warfarin Works and How You Know
- How does Warfarin work?
- How often do I need to take it?
- How long will I need to take it?
- What is an INR?
- What should my INR be?
- How often should I have my blood tested?
- Can I get a portable monitor, so I can test at home?
Symptoms and Risks
- What are the side effects of taking Warfarin?
- Will taking warfarin introduce new risks for me? What are they?
Diet and Exercise
- Do I need to make any changes in what I eat or drink, in particular, foods high in Vitamin K?
- Can I drink alcohol while taking warfarin? How much?
- Are there exercises, sports, or other activities that are not safe for me while taking Warfarin?
Interactions with other Medicines
- What is important to know about other medications I take?
- What medicines can I take for general pain?
- What medicines can I use if I get a cold or a headache?
These are just a few of the important questions you need answered by your doctor. For a more complete list of questions related to Coumadin® and all Warfarin brands, see the Ten Commandments of Coumadin® (Warfarin), Section 2, 4th Commandment Facts: Questions to Ask Your Doctor.