Frequently asked questions about warfarin
What should I do for a procedure or surgery?
- You may need to stop warfarin. Do not stop on your own. Talk with your provider first.
- Call your provider or the clinic managing your warfarin at least 2 weeks before a procedure or surgery.
- Your doctors will make a plan for your warfarin. You may need a different blood thinner if warfarin is stopped.
Can I drink alcohol while taking warfarin?
- Talk with your provider about if and how much alcohol you can drink.
- If you do drink alcohol, it is recommended to not have more than 2 drinks (can of beer, glass of wine, shot of spirit) per day for men or 1 drink per day for women.
- You may have a higher risk for bleeding if you drink more alcohol than this.
- It is not safe to binge drink by having many drinks in 1 day.
What should I do if I cut or injure myself?
- Most of the time, small cuts or scrapes will stop bleeding after putting pressure on the cut.
- Call your provider right away if you have a hard fall or hit your head. You may need to be seen by a doctor.
What if I become pregnant?
- Tell your provider right away if you become pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.
- Do not take warfarin while pregnant. It can hurt the fetus.
- Your provider can change your medicine to one that is a shot if you need a blood thinner. This will help you safely take blood thinners while pregnant.
Can I do sports or physical activities?
- You can do physical activities with a low risk for getting hurt while taking warfarin.
- Some contact sports or activities put you at higher risk of bleeding.
Can I travel while taking warfarin?
- Yes, you can travel. Tell your provider if you are going to be gone a long time.
- You may need your blood drawn before you leave or make plans to have your blood tested while you are away.
- Try and keep your eating habits and the time you take warfarin the same.
- Make sure you have enough warfarin with you.
- Move around every 2 to 3 hours if you are on a long car or plane trip. This lowers your risk for getting blood clots.
Do all warfarin tablets look the same?
No, the shape and color of the tablet may not be the same. Different companies make warfarin, but the color for each tablet strength will be the same. For example, the 5 mg tablets are peach and 2.5 mg tablets are green. Always check your tablets to make sure you are taking the right dose.
The table below shows warfarin tablet strengths and their colors.
|2 1/2 mg||Green|
|7 1/2 mg||Yellow|