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New Spanish-language guide explains safe and effective use of the bloo

Research Activities, January 2009, No. 341

New Spanish-language guide explains safe and effective use of the blood clot prevention drug, Coumadin®/warfarin

The�Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released a new pamphlet, Su guía para el tratamiento con Coumadin/warfarina (Your Guide to Coumadin®/Warfarin Therapy), to�help Spanish-speaking patients�know what to expect and watch out for while using the blood thinner Coumadin®/warfarin.

Warfarin can be a life-saver, but taking too high a dose can cause major and sometimes fatal problems because of uncontrolled bleeding. Warfarin is the second most common drug—after insulin—implicated in emergency room visits for adverse drug events, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Conversely, taking low a dose of warfarin will not protect a patient against the formation of blood clots. A simple blood test can quickly tell whether a patient is taking too much or too little warfarin.

This�13-page, easy-to-read brochure educates patients about their medication therapy and potentially dangerous side effects, explains how to communicate effectively with their health care providers and provides tips for lifestyle modifications. It also provides information on remembering when to take the medicine, learning how to stay safe while taking the medicine, maintaining a consistent diet and alerting health care providers to concurrent drugs and/or supplements patients are taking to avoid any potential adverse interactions.

In 2005, more than 3.8 million Americans used warfarin at an estimated cost of nearly $963 million, according to the latest data from AHRQ. Warfarin helps prevent blood clots. The drug is often prescribed for patients subject to atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat) or who have had past heart attacks. It is also prescribed for patients to prevent or treat thromboembolism (blood clots deep inside the legs) and for treating pulmonary embolism, a highly dangerous condition that occurs when a blood clot breaks off and lodges in the lungs. The drug is also given often to patients with mechanical heart valves.

Su guía para el tratamiento con Coumadin/warfarina (Publication No. 08-0028-B) and the English-language Your Guide to Coumadin®/Warfarin Therapy (Publication No. 08-0028-A) can be found online at http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/coumadinsp.htm and http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/coumadin.htm, respectively. Printed copies are also available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse.

Editor's Note: AHRQ also offers guides in Spanish and English to help patients prevent deep vein thrombosis. Su guía para evitar y tratar la formación de coágulos (Publication No. 08-0058-B) and Your Guide to Preventing and Treating Blood Clots (Publication No. 08-0058-A) are available online at http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/spblclots.htm and http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/bloodclots.htm, respectively, and also from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse.

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Current as of January 2009
Internet Citation: New Spanish-language guide explains safe and effective use of the bloo: Research Activities, January 2009, No. 341. January 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/jan09/0109RA28.html