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Let's Review with MyLVAD
If you have an LVAD or care for someone with an LVAD, there can be a lot to remember. We know that sometimes information gets missed, forgotten, or lost. We hope that these articles will help remind you of some of the important information you need to know. If you have a suggestion about a topic that you would like to see reviewed please feel free to contact us at mylvad1@gmail.com.
This month we will review a blood thinning medication known as Warfarin or Coumadin. We hope you find this quick reference guide a helpful review.
MyLVAD Medication Review
What you need to know about Warfarin:
Other names: Coumadin, Jantoven, Marevan, Lawarin, Waran and Warfant, Warfarina, Hemeran, Arefarin, Marfarin, Lawarin, Coumadine, Farin, Orfarin, Panwarfin, Simarc, Uniwarfin
What it does: Decreases the clotting capability of blood so it takes longer for your blood to form a clot
Why do LVAD recipients take it: to prevent blood clots from forming inside and around the LVAD
How it is taken: Warfarin comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth
Warfarin should be taken at the same time every day
Warfarin should be taken exactly as directed by your medical team
Dosage: Your dose is determined by a blood test called a PT/INR. The PT/INR measures how thin your blood is and will be routinely monitored by your LVAD team
If a dose is missed: Same day: Take it as soon as you remember
Next day: Never take two doses on the same day. Call medical team for further instructions.
Things to remember:
Review with your medical provider all medications that you currently take prior to starting warfarin to make sure there are not interactions.
Keep your intake of vitamin K consistent from day to day. Find a listing of foods and their vitamin K content here (USDA Vitamin K Database).
Notify all providers that you are taking warfarin if you are going to have any procedures (dental, podiatry, etc) done.
Avoid alcohol while taking warfarin.
Speak with your LVAD team before taking any dietary supplements, vitamins, herbs or other medications.
Do not stop taking warfarin without speaking with your LVAD team for clearance.
Side Effects:
Most common: bruise easily, gums bleed easily, nose bleeds, gas, change in taste, tiredness, pale skin, loss of hair, feeling cold
Signs your blood is too thin and you need to notify LVAD team immediately:
bloody, red or black tarry stools
coughing up blood
heavy menstrual bleeding (unusual to you)
pink, red or dark brown urine
vomiting bright red blood or "coffee grounds"
persistent bleeding or oozing from minor cuts, gums or nose
Adverse Effects: hives, rash, itching, difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling of face, throat, tongue, lips or eyes, hoarseness, chest pain or pressure, swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs, fever, infection; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, pain in the upper right part of the stomach, yellowing of the skin or eyes,flu-like symptoms, joint or muscle pain, difficulty moving any part of your body, feelings of numbness, tingling, pricking, burning or creeping on the skin, painful erection of the penis that lasts for hours,discoloration or abrupt change in color and temperature of any part of your body and severe bleeding.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call your LVAD team immediately.
MyLVAD provides this information for reference purposes only. Any questions should be discussed with your medical provider.

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