Heart Disease Home > Coumadin Overdose
Even a small Coumadin overdose can be extremely dangerous. The most serious effect of an overdose with this medication is bleeding, including internal bleeding. It is important to know that taking too much Coumadin does not have to be intentional; certain food or drug interactions can cause previously appropriate dosages to be much too high.
Coumadin® (warfarin sodium) is a prescription anticoagulant medication. People often call this medication a "blood thinner," although it does not really thin the blood. As with most medications, it is possible to take too much Coumadin. However, unlike many other medications, even just a little too much Coumadin can be extremely dangerous.
The most important effect of a Coumadin overdose is bleeding. This can include obvious bleeding, such as vomiting of blood, nosebleeds, or bright red blood in the stool, or bleeding that is less obvious, such as internal bleeding. Signs of an overdose might include:
- Easy bruising
- Cuts or scrapes that are slow to stop bleeding
- Signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, such as:
- Black, tarry stools
- Bright red blood in the stool
- Vomiting of blood
- Signs of a hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in the brain), such as:
- Vision or speech changes
- Weakness or numbness in an arm or leg
- Severe headache.
An overdose of Coumadin can occur in several different ways. Of course, taking more than prescribed (such as with an intentional overdose) can cause an overdose. In addition, certain Coumadin drug interactions or food interactions (see Coumadin Diet) could cause a previously appropriate dosage to be much too high, essentially causing an overdose even though the dosage has not changed.