Sometimes Called “The Most Dangerous Drug in America”
Coumadin is a brand name for Warfarin, an anti-coagulant drug that is prescribed most often to treat thrombosis, or blood clots. It was initially introduced in 1948 as a pesticide against rats and mice, which may seem disconcerting to some.
Coumadin is known to be very effective and usually safe for humans, and is today the most common drug prescribed oral anticoagulant in North America. The drug is also used to treat irregular heart rhythms. Coumadin must be carefully calibrated: too much, and you can bleed uncontrollably; too little, and you can develop life-threatening clots.
Coumadin does not work well with certain other medicines and some foods can also cause problems with its effectiveness and effects. Recent studies show that common anti-depressants mixed with Coumadin may result in even greater thinning of the blood. Also at issue is that there has been an increase in the use of anti-depressants, often in elderly patients who may become dizzy or disoriented from those drugs and fall.