"Aug. 31, 2011 (Paris) -- The anti-clotting drug warfarin is safe and beneficial for people aged 80 and over, according to a new report.
But the drug is being prescribed to fewer than half of older people with a heart condition that pu"...
Signs and Symptoms
Bleeding (e.g., appearance of blood in stools or urine, hematuria, excessive menstrual bleeding, melena, petechiae, excessive bruising or persistent oozing from superficial injuries, unexplained fall in hemoglobin) is a manifestation of excessive anticoagulation.
The treatment of excessive anticoagulation is based on the level of the INR, the presence or absence of bleeding, and clinical circumstances. Reversal of COUMADIN anticoagulation may be obtained by discontinuing COUMADIN therapy and, if necessary, by administration of oral or parenteral vitamin K1.
The use of vitamin K1 reduces response to subsequent COUMADIN therapy and patients may return to a pretreatment thrombotic status following the rapid reversal of a prolonged INR. Resumption of COUMADIN administration reverses the effect of vitamin K, and a therapeutic INR can again be obtained by careful dosage adjustment. If rapid re-anticoagulation is indicated, heparin may be preferable for initial therapy.
Prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC), fresh frozen plasma, or activated Factor VII treatment may be considered if the requirement to reverse the effects of COUMADIN is urgent. A risk of hepatitis and other viral diseases is associated with the use of blood products; PCC and activated Factor VII are also associated with an increased risk of thrombosis. Therefore, these preparations should be used only in exceptional or life-threatening bleeding episodes secondary to COUMADIN overdosage.
COUMADIN is contraindicated in women who are pregnant except in pregnant women with mechanical heart valves, who are at high risk of thromboembolism [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Use in Specific Populations]. COUMADIN can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. COUMADIN exposure during pregnancy causes a recognized pattern of major congenital malformations (warfarin embryopathy and fetotoxicity), fatal fetal hemorrhage, and an increased risk of spontaneous abortion and fetal mortality. If COUMADIN is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Use In Specific Populations].
- Hemorrhagic tendencies or blood dyscrasias
- Recent or contemplated surgery of the central nervous system or eye, or traumatic surgery resulting in large open surfaces [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Bleeding tendencies associated with:
- Threatened abortion, eclampsia, and preeclampsia
- Unsupervised patients with conditions associated with potential high level of non-compliance
- Spinal puncture and other diagnostic or therapeutic procedures with potential for uncontrollable bleeding
- Hypersensitivity to warfarin or to any other components of this product (e.g., anaphylaxis) [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]
- Major regional or lumbar block anesthesia
- Malignant hypertension
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/2/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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