Coumadin Side Effects
What should I watch for?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need to have a blood test called a PT/INR regularly. The PT/INR blood test is done to make sure you are getting the right dose of this medicine. It is important to not miss your appointment for the blood tests. When you first start taking this medicine, these tests are done often. Once the correct dose is determined and you take your medicine properly, these tests can be done less often.
Notify your doctor or health care professional and seek emergency treatment if you develop breathing problems; changes in vision; chest pain; severe, sudden headache; pain, swelling, warmth in the leg; trouble speaking; sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg. These can be signs that your condition has gotten worse.
While you are taking this medicine, carry an identification card with your name, the name and dose of medicine(s) being used, and the name and phone number of your doctor or health care professional or person to contact in an emergency.
Do not start taking or stop taking any medicines or over-the-counter medicines except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.
You should discuss your diet with your doctor or health care professional. Do not make major changes in your diet. Vitamin K can affect how well this medicine works. Many foods contain vitamin K. It is important to eat a consistent amount of foods with vitamin K. Other foods with vitamin K that you should eat in consistent amounts are asparagus, basil, black eyed peas, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, green onions, green tea, parsley, green leafy vegetables like beet greens, collard greens, kale, spinach, turnip greens, or certain lettuces like green leaf or romaine.
This medicine can cause birth defects or bleeding in an unborn child. Women of childbearing age should use effective birth control while taking this medicine. If a woman becomes pregnant while taking this medicine, she should discuss the potential risks and her options with her health care professional.
Avoid sports and activities that might cause injury while you are using this medicine. Severe falls or injuries can cause unseen bleeding. Be careful when using sharp tools or knives. Consider using an electric razor. Take special care brushing or flossing your teeth. Report any injuries, bruising, or red spots on the skin to your doctor or health care professional.
If you have an illness that causes vomiting, diarrhea, or fever for more than a few days, contact your doctor. Also check with your doctor if you are unable to eat for several days. These problems can change the effect of this medicine.
Even after you stop taking this medicine, it takes several days before your body recovers its normal ability to clot blood. Ask your doctor or health care professional how long you need to be careful. If you are going to have surgery or dental work, tell your doctor or health care professional that you have been taking this medicine.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
blood in the urine
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
chest pain or discomfort
coughing up blood
difficulty with breathing or swallowing
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
peeling of the skin
prolonged bleeding from cuts
red or black, tarry stools
red or dark brown urine
stomach pain with cramping
unusual tiredness or weakness
Arm, back, or jaw pain
blue-green to black skin discoloration
blue or purple toes
change in consciousness
chest tightness or heaviness
fainting or loss of consciousness
fast or irregular breathing
fast or irregular heartbeat
itching or skin rash
loss of appetite
pain in the toes
pain, redness, or sloughing of the skin
purplish red, net-like, blotchy spots on the skin
small red or purple spots on the skin
swelling of the eyes or eyelids
troubled breathing with exertion
unpleasant breath odor
unusual bleeding or bruising
upper right stomach pain
vomiting of blood
yellow eyes and skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
change in taste, or bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
general feeling of discomfort or illness
hair loss or thinning of the hair
hives or welts
lack or loss of strength
red, sore, or itching skin
sores, welting, or blisters
unusual drowsiness, dullness, or feeling of sluggishness
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.