When you or your loved one are taking Coumadin (Warfarin)....
Coumadin makes your Protime, or clotting time, greater. This means that people on Coumadin are prone to bleeding more when cut or bruising more when bumped. Caution should be taken to keep the Protime as consistent as possible. This means avoiding over the counter medications, prescription medications and/or holistic products that can potentiate the effects of Coumadin. Examples of prescription medications that can effect pro time are some antibiotics, many seizure medications, some of the cholesterol lowering medications and Amiodarone for regulating the heart beat. As for over the counter medications to avoid, there are many that contain aspirin and should not be taken during the course of Coumadin treatments. To name a few to avoid:
Aspirin (Excederin, Ecotrin)
Many cold & flu combination remedies
A list of some of the Homeopathic Remedies to be aware of are:
Vitamin E in quantities greater than 1000 mg daily
Flax Seed in quantities greater than 1000 mg daily
**garlic and ginger eaten in food are not an issue but larger amounts in supplement form are an issue.
The most recent of the studies, done at the University of California at Davis and published in 1996 in the American Journal of Cardiology, concluded that "vitamin E can safely be given to patients who require chronic warfarin therapy." The Johns Hopkins article cautions against megadoses of vitamin E, which would be in the range of 1000 units or more, but according to research on people and animals, 400 units a day should be fine.
Many vegetables contain high levels of Vitamin K which can interfere with Coumadin if eaten in excess. Vegetables are a necessity to our health so these vegetables do not have to be avoided but rather eaten in moderation. The idea is to try to eat the same mcg of vitamin K every day so that your blood clotting results will be consistent and Coumadin can be adjusted accordingly. The recommended daily amount of Vitamin K is 70-85 mcg. Below is a list, albeit not totally inclusive, of the amount of mcg of Vitamin K in commonly eaten vegetables:
Asparagus 1 cup raw 56mcg
Avocado 1 cup raw 30mcg
Broccoli 1 cup raw 89mcg
Brussel Sprouts 1 cup raw 156mcg
Cabbage (green) 1 cup raw 53mcg
Cabbage (red) 1 cup raw 34mcg
Carrots 1 cup raw 15mcg
Cauliflower 1 cup raw 16mcg
Celery 1 cup raw 35mcg
Coleslaw 1 cup 89mcg
Collard Greens 1 cup raw 184mcg
Corn 1 cup cooked less than 1mcg
Cucumber 1 cup raw 9mcg
Dill Pickles 1 cup 26mcg
The most important thing you can do while on Coumadin is talk to your physician about food and supplements you are ingesting while on therapy as well as report any excessive bleeding or bruising. Inquire with your physician about your personal optimal INR (pro time) result. Keep track of your results and keep track of your daily diet to assist your physician in your treatment.