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Stroke Health Center

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Aspirin, Coumadin Make Strokes Milder

Message to Atrial Fibrillation Patients: Know Your INR

Precautions for Patients Taking Coumadin continued...

Wear or carry identification that states you are taking warfarin.

If you are a woman who is taking warfarin and is planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about the possible risks and ways to reduce those risks. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

Before getting any medical or dental treatment, tell all your doctors and dentists that you are taking warfarin. Before having a surgical or dental procedure, you may need to have a blood test, and you may need to stop taking warfarin for a few days.

Check with your doctor before you travel. Before you go on vacation, you may need to have a blood test and your warfarin dose may need to be adjusted. While traveling, carry your medications with you at all times. Do not put medications in checked baggage, and do not leave your medications in the car.

Call your doctor if you notice any of the following signs of bleeding or illness that can affect the way your warfarin works:

  • Feeling more weak or tired than usual or looking pale (symptoms of anemia)
  • Bleeding from cuts that won't stop after applying pressure for 10 minutes
  • Coughing or vomiting blood (which may look like coffee grounds)
  • Bleeding from the nose, gums, or ears
  • Unusual color of the urine or stool (including dark brown urine, or red or black, tarry stools)
  • Unusual bruising (black and blue marks on your skin) for unknown reasons
  • Menstrual bleeding that is heavier or lasts longer than normal
  • A fever or illness that gets worse
  • A serious fall or a blow to the head
  • Unusual pain or swelling
  • Unusual headache
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing

If you notice any of these symptoms, your doctor may want to do a blood test, stop the warfarin, or prescribe medication to stop the bleeding.

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