Anticoagulants: Warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®, or Marfarin®
Warfarin is used to prevent the formation of dangerous blood clots, also known as thrombosis, which can lead to an embolism. An embolism occurs when a blood clot migrates through the blood and becomes lodged in a vein or artery, thereby cutting off blood supply to a vital organ. Warfarin is most commonly prescribed for people who are at a higher risk of developing a thrombosis including people with a certain type of irregular heart beat (atrial fibrillation), prosthetic heart valves, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, and people who have suffered a heart attack from coronary artery disease. Warfarin is in a class of medications called anticoagulants, often referred to as ‘blood thinners’ (1). Warfarin was approved for use in the U.S. in 1954 and is the most widely prescribed oral anticoagulant drug in North America (2).