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Blood thinners can save your life when you have DVT. They all have pluses and minuses so talk to your doctor about which one is right for you.

Coumadin vs. Newer Blood Thinners

The most commonly used blood thinner is warfarin. It’s also known by its brand name, Coumadin. It needs a lot of monitoring by your doctor to make sure you're getting the right amount in a dose. Newer blood thinners do not.

“Coumadin is difficult to manage,” says Molly Cooke, MD, of the University of California San Francisco. “If you’re on Coumadin, you may have to have your blood tested daily, weekly, or monthly.”

There is a long list of foods and drugs that you must avoid when you take Coumadin. These foods and drugs can interact with Coumadin and cause unwanted effects.

Newer blood thinners include apixaban (Eliquis), dabigatran (Pradaxa), edoxaban (Savaysa), and rivaroxaban (Xarelto). They don't require frequent blood tests. Plus, they have far fewer food and drug interactions.

However, Coumadin is much less expensive than newer blood thinners.

All blood thinners cause you to bleed more easily, so if you cut yourself or require emergency surgery, it would be difficult to stop the bleeding right away. You can get a shot of vitamin K to quickly reverse the effects of Coumadin, but there is no fast-acting antidote for the newer blood thinners.

Talk to your doctor about your lifestyle and personal risk factors when deciding which type of medicine to choose.


Living With

See the causes, dangers, and treatments of DVT in this slideshow.