How does Warfarin work

this image shows pills ,pink blue and brown. The are warfarin

How does Warfarin work 

Most of the elderly people I work with are prescribed Warfarin and although I know what it is taken for, I thought I would research into this medication more deeply.

Warfarin is an anticoagulant  used to prevent  thrombosis and thrombo-embolism, the formation of blood clots in  blood vessels and their movement to other parts of the body.

It was initially introduced in 1948 as a rat and mice pesticide and is still used for this purpose!!!

In the early 1950s it was found to be effective and relatively safe in the prevention of blood clots. It was approved for use as a medication in 1954 and has remained popular ever since;

Despite its effectiveness, there are several shortcomings. Many other commonly used medications and foods containing high levels of vitamin K such as kale or cabbage. Patients prescribed warfarin have to have regular blood tests to  test their INR (International Normalized Ratio).

A high INR predisposes to a high risk of bleeding, whilst a low INR  indicates that the dose of warfarin is insufficient to protect against thrombo – embolic events.

If someone taking Warfarin needs surgical or invasive dental treatment they are advised to stop taking their tablets for a few days before.

Someone taking Warfarin will also bleed profusely if cut themselves and if they fall they will bruise more easily too.


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Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference

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