:: :: Coumadin Alternatives

Coumadin Alternatives

Should You, Can You, Get Off Coumadin?
© 2011 Health Realizations, Inc.

Millions of Americans take the anti-coagulant (blood-thinning) drug Warfarin, known by the brand name Coumadin. This drug, which decreases the clotting ability of your blood, has been found to reduce the risk of stroke by one-third to one-half, and is widely prescribed to prevent blood clots from forming.

coumadin

Millions of Americans take Coumadin, a medication initially developed as a rat poison, to help thin their blood.

Among the many conditions for which Coumadin is prescribed are irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), venous thrombosis (blood clot in a vein), pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung), and atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm). Coumadin is also sometimes prescribed for people who have suffered from a previous heart attack or have a prosthetic heart valve.

Although the drug is effective at thinning blood and helping prevent the formation of blood clots in your arteries, veins and heart, this drug is extremely complicated, and potentially dangerous, to use.

The Dark Side of Coumadin

Coumadin was initially developed for use as a rat poison and it is still used for this purpose, which gives you an idea of just how deadly it can be when taken in excess.

The problem is there is a very narrow margin between a dose that's effective and a dose that's dangerous, so people taking the drug must have a lab test done, typically monthly, called the International Normalized Ratio (INR). The INR helps physicians ensure their patients' dosages of Coumadin stay in just the right range, helping to prevent clots rather than trigger excessive bleeding.

Yet, even then it's extremely difficult to keep the drug within this small window of safety. According to the Chicago Tribune:

"Even in the best clinical trials, only about 70% of patients are able to keep the drug within the desired therapeutic range."

Complicating matters further, about one-third of people taking Coumadin have genes that make them especially sensitive to the drug, increasing the risk of serious bleeding and making it even more difficult to determine proper dosages.

Even under normal circumstances, since the drug thins your blood so efficiently you must seek medical attention even from minor falls, cuts or scrapes when taking the drug, due to the bleeding risk. Patients are also warned to use caution when shaving, brushing and flossing teeth, trimming toenails and performing other normal daily activities. It's even recommended that you not use toothpicks while taking the drug.

And there's more.

coumadin

If you take Coumadin along with other medications or supplements -- and many do -- you could be at risk for dangerous drug interactions.

Coumadin interacts with a laundry list of medications and herbal supplements, leading to a variety of dangerous effects. Among them (this is only a partial list):

  • Antibiotics
  • Aspirin or aspirin-containing products and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Heparin
  • Medications for cancer, cholesterol, colds and allergies, depression, diabetes, digestive problems (including ulcers and heartburn), gout, heart disease, mental illness, pain, seizures, thyroid problems, and tuberculosis
  • Oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
  • Streptokinase
  • Ticlopidine
  • Urokinase
  • Bromelains
  • Coenzyme Q10 (Ubidecarenone)
  • Cranberry products
  • Danshen
  • Dong quai
  • Garlic
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Ginseng
  • St. John's wort
  • Fish oil and omega-3 supplements
  • Vitamin K
  • Alfalfa
  • Glucosamine
  • Evening primrose oil

Your Diet and Coumadin

Another tricky aspect to taking the drug is its tendency to react with certain foods. Among the most common are vitamin-K-rich foods, as vitamin K can lessen the effectiveness of Coumadin.

Many vitamin-K-rich foods are extremely healthy, including dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, chard, parsley and mustard greens, and patients taking this drug are often warned to stay away from them, thereby missing out on the health benefits of these foods.

Other foods also interact with Coumadin, including cranberry juice and alcohol, which increase the drug's effect and may cause bleeding problems. Quite simply, there are so many foods, drugs, and supplements that interact with Coumadin that taking it can be like playing a game of Russian roulette.

In fact, even under the best circumstances, the drug is riddled with potential side effects, including:

  • Severe bleeding
  • Black stool or bleeding from the rectum
  • Skin conditions such as hives, a rash or itching
  • Swelling of the face, throat, mouth, legs, feet or hands
  • Bruising that comes about without an injury you remember
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever or flu-like symptoms
  • Joint or muscle aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty moving
  • Numbness or tingling in any part of your body
  • Painful erection lasting four hours or longer
  • Skin tissue death (necrosis) and gangrene requiring amputation
  • Gas
  • Feeling cold
  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Changes in the way foods taste
  • Hair loss

Can You Get Off Coumadin?

It's important to understand that you should not stop taking Coumadin without the guidance of a knowledgeable health care practitioner. However, given this drug's side effects and risks, there is incentive to find a provider who can work with you to eventually get off the drug.

How?

Solve the underlying reason why you're on the drug in the first place. This may mean you need to find out what's causing your arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, blood clots or other issues, and will likely take the aid of an expert along with the guidance of a holistic practitioner who will help you determine and treat the underlying causes of your specific condition.

The second way to get off Coumadin, according to Dr. Bruce West, is by taking a combination of Nattokinase and omega-3 fats, like fish oil, daily. Nattokinase is an enzyme found in natto, a food made from fermented soybeans. In supplement form, Nattokinase has been found to help prevent and reduce the risk of blood clots, as well as provide heart-protective benefits. Some studies suggest that nattokinase can also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

You will still need to have your blood closely monitored for clotting times if you take this regimen, and again you should not attempt this treatment without the guidance of your physician. However, it may provide a natural way for you to keep your blood thinner naturally, without all of the dangerous side effects of Coumadin.

You can also ask your health care provider about the following additional supportive supplements from Designs for Health, which may be beneficial in helping resolve some underlying causes of arrhythmia:

  • Q-Avail™: A high potency CoQ10 product, delivering 200mg of Ubiquinone in a single softgel.
  • Natto-Serrazime: Nattozimes® and Serrazimes® in studies, have shown to have the same thrombolytic and fibrinolytic activities as the popular enzyme products Nattokinase and Serrapeptidase therefore, they can be used as a 1:1 substitution for these applications.
  • OmegAvail Hi-Po: OmegAvail™ Hi-Po (formerly Omega Hi Po EE) provides the same high levels of omega-3 oils per serving -- a potent 1400mg of EPA/DHA.
  • Homocysteine Supreme: Synergistic nutrients, found in Homocysteine Supreme, facilitate the efficient metabolism of homocysteine, preventing toxic levels of homocysteine from accumulating.

     
  • Boluoke (lumbrokinase) The BEST Oral Enzyme For Blood Health

Again, dealing with blood clots and other conditions that require anti-coagulant drugs is not something you should attempt on your own. However, with the help of a knowledgeable health care practitioner you may be able to address the underlying causes of your health condition so there's no need for a potentially dangerous "cure" like Coumadin.


Sources

Cleveland Clinic, Drugs & Supplements, Understanding Coumadin

MayoClinic.com Warfarin Side Effects

ChicagoTribune.com November 16, 2010

ScienceBlogs.com February 19, 2009

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Blood Thinner Pills

U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Warfarin

  •  per page
Boluoke Lumbrokinase
SKU: CRNA001

Boluoke Lumbrokinase 60 caps | Canada RNA - The best oral enzyme that can improve your circulatory health and maintain good blood supply to major organs like the brain, the heart, and other cells of the body


Our Price: $92.46
Market price: $108.26 save 15%
Cardiokinase w/ Nattokinase 90 gles
SKU: IGEN002

Cardiokinase w/ Nattokinase 90 gels | Iagen Biologics - An Award Winning & Professional Grade Cardiokinase™ from IAGEN Biologics features the latest and most powerful Nattokinase available.


Our Price: $72.00
Market price: $90.00 save 20%
Consultation With Dr. Forrest
SKU: FH001

Consultation with Dr. Forrest - Dr. Forrest, MA, MH, DC, is a licensed  chiropractor in California. His is available for in-office visits and informational/educational phone/Skype consultations and Zyto and EVOX Biometric Body Scans. You are welcome to draw on his over 24 years of clinical experience.


Our Price: $20.00
Market price: $75.00 save 73%
Devigest ADS
SKU: AAM004

Devigest ADS | Arthur Andrew Medical - Now more powerful and concentrated, Devigest can support reduced food irritations and sensitivities as well as reduce occasional abdominal gas and bloating


Our Price: $39.99
Market price: $44.00 save 9%
Lumbrokinase
SKU: ARG002

Lumbrokinase | Allergy Research Group - Lumbrokinase is an enzyme derived from earthworms Lumbricus rubellus. Research has shown that lumbrokinase may support healthy coagulation of blood within normal levels and enhance fibrinolytic activity, i.e. similar to nattokinase.


Our Price: $43.56
Market price: $49.50 save 12%
Natto-Serrazime - 120 caps
SKU: DFH001

Natto-Serrazime | Designs for Health - a unique blend of two very potent fungal proteolytic enzymes Nattozimes® and Serrazimes® derived from Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus melleus which are used for cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, respiratory, as well as immune support.


Our Price: $44.00
Nattokinase 100mg - 180 gels
SKU: ARG003
Nattokinase - Research has shown nattokinase to support healthy coagulation of blood within normal levels and enhance fibrinolytic activity. Safely dissolve blood clots that lead to heart attack and stroke.

Our Price: $97.75
Market price: $115.00 save 15%
Nattokinase 100mg - 60 gels
SKU: ARG001
Nattokinase - Research has shown nattokinase to support healthy coagulation of blood within normal levels and enhance fibrinolytic activity. Safely dissolve blood clots that lead to heart attack and stroke.

Our Price: $35.70
Market price: $42.00 save 15%
Nattovena
SKU: AAM005

Nattovena Ultra Strength Nattokinase | Arthur Andrew Medical | Arthur Andrew Medical - Nattovena is the world's first ultra-concentrated 4,000 FU pure nattokinase supplement in easy-to-swallow microcaps.


Our Price: $39.99
Market price: $46.00 save 13%
NSK-SD (Nattokinase) 50 mg - 60 vcap
SKU: PURE001

NSK–SD™ (Nattokinase) - Promotes healthy fibrinolytic activity for healthy blood flow and cardiovascular function.


Our Price: $35.00
Zyto Biometric Body Scan
SKU: ZYTO3

Zyto Biometric Body Scan - With the development of ZYTO biocommunication, it is easy to identify your body’s biological preference for things relating to your health


Our Price: $120.00
  •  per page