Who should not take warfarin
You should not take warfarin if you are actively bleeding, have a bleeding disorder (meaning you have a condition that interferes with your blood’s ability to clot) or blood cell disorder (such as anaemia — a lack of red blood cells).
Warfarin is generally not given to women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Speak to your doctor if you are prescribed warfarin and are pregnant or trying to conceive.
Others who may not be suitable for warfarin treatment include people who:
- take certain medicines that can interact with warfarin
- are unable to manage warfarin therapy and who may not have access to assistance
- may not be able to follow the special instructions for taking warfarin
- cannot have ongoing blood tests.
Some people already taking warfarin may need to stop it for a short period:
- if they’re considered to be at a high risk of bleeding (determined through regular blood testing)
- to undergo a surgical procedure
- to have a dental procedure.
Your doctor will tell you how to stop taking warfarin if you need to.
If you are unsure whether warfarin is the safest choice for you or someone you care for, check with your doctor or pharmacist. Always read the information on the label and the consumer medicine information (CMI) that is available from your pharmacist.
Phone for medicines information
Call NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) to get information about your prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamins and mineral supplements) from a pharmacist. Your call will be answered by healthdirect Australia.
- Aspen Pharma Pty Ltd. Coumadin consumer medicine information. August 2011.
- Aspen Pharma Pty Ltd. Marevan consumer medicine information. August 2011.
- Borosak M, Choo S, Street A. Warfarin: balancing the benefits and harms. Aust Prescr 2004;27:88–92. www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/27/4/88/92/ (accessed 24 April 2012).