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Frequently Asked Questions


What is coumadin?

  • Coumadin is a medicine that reduces your blood's ability to form dangerous clots.

  • Good clots form when you get cuts and bruises to prevent you from bleeding too much. Bad clots form inside blood vessels and can break off, blocking blood flow to vital parts of your body.

  • Your doctor will prescribe a dose of coumadin to prevent dangerous clots from forming, while allowing good clots to protect you from bleeding.

How will my doctor know if coumadin is working for me?

  • To be sure the balance between good and bad clotting is right, your doctor will order a regular blood test that shows how fast your blood clots. Your coumadin dose may be adjusted depending on your test results.

  • Your doctor will ask to enroll you in MGMC's Anticoagulation Clinic, also known informally as the Coumadin Clinic, to have these regular blood tests done.

  • The clinic will contact you a day or two after you leave the hospital to arrange for your first blood test at the clinic.

  • The clinic has a physician and several nurses on staff. You will first see the physician for a brief visit and then the nurses will do the blood tests and call you with any changes in your coumadin dose.

  • If you do not hear from the nurse the day of your blood test, take your usual dose for that day and the nurse will call you the next day.

What may cause problems for me while I'm on coumadin?

Bleeding problems may happen when the amount of coumadin in your blood increases. This can happen if:

  • The way your body uses coumadin changes

  • You drink alcohol

  • You take medicines that interfere with how your body uses coumadin

  • You eat certain foods that interfere with how your body uses coumadin