What is Anticoagulation Therapy?

Coumadin® and warfarin belong to a class of drugs called anticoagulants. You may have heard them referred to as “blood thinners.” These drugs lower the body’s ability to make clots and then stop harmful clots from forming in your blood vessels.

Why Do I Need to Take Anticoagulants?

Although clotting is a normal body function, sometimes your body can make your blood clot too quickly or make clots it doesn’t need. When this happens, serious problems can happen. Clots form and can move from one part of your body to another. If a clot moves to your brain, it can cause a stroke.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe anticoagulants if you:

  • Have atrial fibrillation
  • Have a blood clot in the lung or leg
  • Had a total hip or knee replacement surgery
  • Are going to have vascular surgery
  • Have a history of rheumatic heart disease with heart valve disease
  • Have inherited clotting deficiencies

What Should I Know About This Medication?

  • Other medications can interfere with anticoagulation therapy. It is important to talk about all the medications you are taking with your healthcare provider.
  • Several herbs can increase your tendency to bleed. Be sure to include any herbal remedies you are taking when discussing your medications with your healthcare provider.
  • Keep a regular diet, and eat the same amount of foods containing vitamin K.
  • Stay away from alcohol or drink minimally.
  • Stay away from contact sports or activities with a high chance of injury.
  • When traveling, remember to continue your medication and regular blood tests as prescribed. Carry an ID card indicating you are taking a blood thinner.

Please contact Reliant Medical Group’s Anticoagulation Clinic if you would like more information at (508) 486-4400. This is a telephone-based service offered for all patients with a Reliant primary care provider or cardiologist.