Coumadin is an important prescription drug which provides tremendous health benefits for thousands of patients. As with all prescription drugs, it is important to understand the possibility of drug interaction between Coumadin and other drugs, as well as the possibility for interaction with vitamins. A prescribing physician must be apprised of all medications, including vitamin supplements, taken by a patient to avoid potentially fatal interactions with Coumadin.
Coumadin is an anticoagulant drug which prevents the production of blood clots in humans. It serves to thin the blood so that it does not clot and cause heart attacks, strokes and blood clots in the veins. Coumadin can save the lives of patients who suffer from clotting problems and is often prescribed after a significant health problem, like a stroke, to prevent further strokes from occurring.
Coumadin Side Effects
Coumadin does have side effects; however, a qualified doctor will be able to determine the proper amount of Coumadin to prescribe to reduce the side effects in each individual patient's case. Further, a doctor will balance the need for Coumadin and it's health benefits against the side effects in determining the need for taking this drug. Excessive bleeding is a typical side effect of the drug which serves to reduce clots; it will in fact cause an inability to clot if a patient cuts their face while shaving, for example. Other side effects include nausea and other stomach discomfort.
Coumadin has had significant interactions with many other drugs and vitamins. Specifically, Coumadin has been found to interact negatively with such over-the-counter drugs as Tylenol, Advil and Motrin. There are many prescription drugs which cause a drug interaction which must be avoided. Specific vitamins such as vitamin K, high levels of vitamin C, and vitamin E have been shown specifically to interact negatively with Coumadin.
B-12 Interactions with Coumadin
As a Coumadin user, it is important to consult with a doctor when adding a vitamin supplement or a multivitamin to a health regimen. Although there are few documented cases of B12 vitamin supplements interacting with Coumadin specifically, there is significant evidence that a multivitamin containing B12 has caused negative interaction, causing a reduction in Coumadin's effectiveness.
If Coumadin's effectiveness is reduced, blood clots may form which can cause heart attacks and strokes. If a reduction in effectiveness of Coumadin is found to occur, a physician may increase the dosage which can cause other adverse reactions, such as excessive bleeding. As such, it is always best to consult with a physician when adding any multivitamin, especially one containing B12, to one's diet.
Vitamin B12 Function as it Relates to Coumadin
Vitamin B12 contains many health benefits when taken without concern for interaction with Coumadin. It serves to improve brain and nervous system function, and aids in production of blood in the body. As such, Coumadin and B12 have the potential for interaction, since the blood productive qualities of B12 have a direct impact on Coumadin's anticoagulant qualities.