Common Blood Thinner Tied to Increased Fracture Risk

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December 08, 2019
Edward Smith

Warfarin Can Cause Bone Fractures

According to a new study, a blood thinner called Warfarin (also known as Coumadin) has been tied to an increased risk of bone fractures. This is one of the most commonly prescribed blood thinners in the world. This medication works by blocking specific proteins in the body that are responsible for blood clotting. While this can be used to prevent heart attacks and pulmonary emboli, this medication can also lead to serious side effects. Researchers have now added bone fractures to this list.

Why is Warfarin Prescribed?

Warfarin is prescribed to stop people from forming blood clots more often than they should. Blood clots are essential because they stop someone from bleeding; however, they can also be dangerous. When blood clots form in the heart, lungs, or brain, these clots can be fatal. Blood thinners, such as Warfarin, are used to prevent this from happening.

Warfarin is typically taken as a daily oral medication. Those who take this medicine need to see their doctor regularly. Blood levels must be checked to make sure the medication dose is correct. Levels of Warfarin that are too high (or too low) can lead to dangerous side effects.

Common Side Effects of a Blood Thinner

Warfarin can cause several common side effects. First, Warfarin will make it harder for someone to stop bleeding if they cut themselves. This is because Warfarin blocks the body’s blood clotting mechanism. Therefore, what used to be minor cuts and scrapes might bleed severely.

Warfarin can also lead to digestive problems. Some people might notice blood in the stool as well. This is because Warfarin can cause someone to bleed more quickly in their intestines. Anyone with blood in their stool needs to call their doctor right away.

Increased Risk of Bone Fractures

A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota reviewed the charts of more than 150,000 patients. They found that individuals who were taking Warfarin were more likely to suffer a bone fracture.

The authors of the study found that femur and hip fractures were more common in those who received Warfarin. They found that other blood thinner medications, such as apixaban and rivaroxaban, have lower risks of bone fractures. The scientists state that the results demonstrate that alternatives to Warfarin need to be considered.

Implications for the Future

Bone fractures, particularly in those taking blood-thinning medications, are always severe. A significant number of these fractures require surgery. Often, patients need physical therapy to complete the recovery process.

Bone fractures can have a serious impact on someone’s overall quality of life. Because there are alternatives to Warfarin, patients need to discuss this with their medical providers. Newer blood thinners may have fewer side effects than Warfarin. This might prevent someone from suffering a dangerous bone fracture in the future.

Watch YouTube Video: Warfarin Side Effects: What to Look Out For. In the following video, Dr. John Worthington discusses the symptoms and side effects of Warfarin and what to do about them.

Personal Injury Attorneys in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Everyone needs to understand the risks and benefits of their prescription medications. If someone you love has suffered a bone fracture while using Warfarin, call me at (916) 921-6400 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

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