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Coumadin Versus Warfarin

Coumadin® (warfarin sodium) is a prescription anticoagulant, often described as a "blood thinner" (although it does not actually thin the blood). The medication is used to prevent and treat blood clots due to various causes. Many people are curious about the difference between Coumadin versus warfarin. There is actually no difference at all; warfarin, Coumadin, and Jantoven are different names or brand names for the exact same medication. Warfarin is simply the generic name for Coumadin.
Coumadin works to inhibit blood clotting by decreasing the formation of active forms of certain clotting factors. Some clotting factors require vitamin K to be converted into their active forms. Although this reaction changes vitamin K into an unusable form, the body can recycle it back using an enzyme known as vitamin K epoxide reductase. Coumadin blocks this enzyme, inhibiting the recycling of vitamin K and, thereby, decreasing the formation of the active clotting factors.
It is important to understand that Coumadin does not "dissolve" or break down blood clots. Rather, it prevents them from forming. When used to treat a blood clot, Coumadin keeps the clot formation in check, allowing the body's natural processes to break down the clot.
(Click Coumadin to learn more about Coumadin vs. warfarin, to find out how dosing works for this medication, and for general warnings and precautions associated with the use of anticoagulants.)
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