Dangerous Side Effects of Blood Thinners as Warfarin (Coumadin)
Warfarin is today certainly most prescribed blood thinner (anticoagulant), that has very interesting and controversial dual use: while people take it for thinning the blood, it is also used as a rat poison since the day of it`s invention.. So, when warfarin had been invented, and successfully "tested" on rats (rats are successfully dying from it) pharmacy industry, at the same time, started to produce the very same medication for humans. with the completely same ingredients.
Warfarin is sold as: Coumadin, Jantoven, Marevan, Lawarin, and Waran
History of warfarin explains a lot:
Main active substance in warfarin (dicoumarol), is derived by various rotten plants but only if they are in process of degradation attacked by certain group of fungus in addition to the presence of toxic gas formaldehyde (that can be realised when urea is added, or some formaldehyde chemicals). This substance was discovered in 1940s, when was observed that after eating such spoiled and toxic meal (grass) on one farm in Wisconsin , cattle died from heavy internal bleeding (hemorrhage). American biochemist, Karl Paul Gerhart Link, managed to copy this process that unluckily occurred after the rotten and poisoned meal was given to the cows, and warfarin started to be produced as rat poison. Rats poisoned with anticoagulants die from internal bleeding, due to the loss of the blood´s clotting ability and damage to the capillaries. Prior to death, the animal exhibits increasing weakness due to blood loss, though appetite and body weight are not specifically affected. Because warfarin is slow in action (several days following the ingestion of a lethal dose), the target animal is unable to associate the illness with the bait eaten e.g rats needed some time to find connection and started to avoid warfarin baits.
This inventive poison pharmacist started to produce for human needs after they discovered that people would not necessarily immediately die after consumption of warfarin, what they learned in 1951, when an US army soldier unsuccessfully attempted suicide with multiple doses of warfarin and recovered fully in hospital, after being treated with vitamin K (vitamin K is antidote for warfarin).
Survival of US army soldier inspired pharmacy industry to use the rat poison as blood thinner for very many health conditions when thinning the blood would be beneficial, despite very many side effects mentioned poison can have (warfarin can cause dead). The warfarin was approved for human use as blood thinner in 1954.
President Dwight Eisenhower Suffered from Side-effects Of Warfarin
Warfarine with trade name Coumadin was popularized when USA president Eisenhower started to use it in 1955, after his heart attack. While he was still on Warfarin, he got chronic inflammation of intestines because of Warfarin poisoning in 1956. His medical condition was seriously in danger, even bowel surgery perfromed, so his Warfarin (Coumadin) therapy was temporarly suspended by his doctors. After he recovered, he again started to take warfarin (Coumadin) what led him to the brain hemmorhage (stroke) in 1957- and finally to serial of heart attacks that led to his death in 1969. http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/g34.htm
Ironically, in spite of deadly "side-effects" Mr Eisenhower experienced from using warfarin, marketing of pharmaceutical industry made it to become the second popular and worldwide prescribed blood thinner .
Rats More Cautious About Warfarin Than Humans
In the meantime, rats learned to connect their bleeding disease with warfarin enhanced "food" . They are extremely intelligent, and always send one member of their community to test suspicious bait, then they wait for days before all members of the group decide to eat such food. If the rat who tested it survives, food is safe for the whole group. If it develops health problems, in the following days, nobody else eats it. Due to rats` intelligence ( who seem to be far more cautios with warfarin then humans ), warfarin became much less effective in rats` population control then it was before, so chemists needed to invented new poison with prolonged effect that starts to cause deadly bleeding much later then warfarin used to (super-warfarin). Of course, scientists could not admit that rats are so intelligent, and more cautious then people, so they publicly announced that rats developed Warfarin - resistance, while they simply learned how to avoid mass poisoning.
Luckily for the people, super-warfarin is still not used in human medicine, but Warfarin is still normally prescribed medicine, warmly recommended from many pharmacists and doctors.
How Warfarin Works
It`s main duty is to surpress production of vitamin K in the body.
Vitamin K is responsible for clotting the blood, that is needed to stop any kind of bleeding one could experience. Problem arise only if clotts are formed on the wrong place - in veins and arteries, when blood is too thick.
Vitamin K is also antidot for dangerous side-effects of Warfarin medication, one can find it naturally: .in broccoli, kale, spinach, green leafy vegetables, chickpeas, soybean products, green tea, beef liver and pork liver.
Warfarin interacts with various herbs and spices, some used in food (such as ginger and garlic) and others used for medicinal purposes ( ginseng and Ginkgo biloba). All may increase bleeding and brusing in people taking warfarin; similar effects have been reported with borage (starflower) oil or fish oils. .
Some antibiotics,(as Acetominophen and Ibuprophen), Aspirin, (and various other medicines) garlic and garlic supplements, cranberry supplements, cranberries or cranberry juice, alcohol, licorice and vegetable oils are also thinning the blood, so one should strictly avoid them while using warfarin-
Side effects of Warfarin
Longterm or Delayed Health Effects
Prolonged warfarin use may cause cancer and can harm brain and central nervous system
- Multiple birth defects including bone and nasal deformities, blindness or unusually small eyes, hydrocephalus (water on the brain), mental retardation.
- Fetal, neonatal or maternal bleeding.
- Bleeding from the nose, lip, gums or upper airway, blood in urine and feces, bruising, rash.
- Paleness or fatigue caused by anemia, muscle and joint pain, blurry vision, eye pain.
- Vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea.
- Upper airway pain, difficulty in speaking and swallowing, shortness of breath.
- increases coronary calcifications in man,
- worsens hypertension in high-risk patients, particularly in those with diabetes mellitus (studies about it shown below the comments.)
Pharmacists are also developing new types of blood thinners with prolonged acting, and also some new blood thiners, much more expensive then Warfarin /Coumadin (as Pradaxa, that costs over 200 $ US, but has completely similar side effects as Warfarin and Heparin. The difference is only in price. As usual, pharmacy industry cares only about profit.
Natural Blood Thinners
Nature always work the best in the long term, and is the safe way to prevent the excessive blood clotting, without any of above mentioned side-effets:
Garlic and garlic supplements, onion, onion,,ginko biloba, dong quai, feverfew, fish oil, vitamin E, are a few of many known natural blood thinners.
It is also important that one drinks sufficient amount of liquids during the day (water is the best), and also avoid the food that consists a lot of vitamin K - as broccoli, kale, spinach, green leafy vegetables, chickpeas, soybean products, green tea, beef liver and pork liver. Healthy and balanced diet is also very important.
I believe that after reading my article, your choice about type of blood thinner is clear - I would always vote for natural ways.
Tatiana Michaela Pribic
Homeopath and Reiki Teacher.
Studies about harmfull effect of Warfarin
Effects of warfarin on blood pressure in men with diabetes and hypertension - a longitudinal study.
Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT, USA .J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2007 Apr;9(4):256-8.
Warfarin causes extensive vascular calcification leading to increased systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure in rats, may be associated with increased valvular and coronary calcifications in man, and possibly worsens hypertension in high-risk patients, particularly in those with diabetes mellitus or uncontrolled hypertension. The authors evaluated blood pressure and intensity of antihypertensive therapy over 36 months in a cohort of 58 patients with diabetes and hypertension on warfarin and 58 control subjects with diabetes and hypertension not on warfarin. The results demonstrate that warfarin therapy at conventional does increase systolic blood pressure or pulse pressure in patients with diabetes and hypertension.
Warfarin and aortic valve calcification in hemodialysis patients.
Division of Nephrology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. email@example.com J Nephrol. 2007 Jul-Aug;20(4):417-22.
BACKGROUND: This retrospective cohort study was designed to determine the association between long-term exposure to warfarin and severity of aortic valve (AV) calcification in hemodialysis (HD) patients.
METHODS: 108 HD patients underwent a study-specific echocardiogram. A grading scheme was used to classify AV calcification as none, mild, moderate and severe.
RESULTS: One hundred and eight subjects were enrolled. A minority had no calcification (n=17, 15.7%), the majority had mild calcification (n=62, 57.4%), and fewer had calcification rated as moderate (n=16, 14.8%) or severe (n=13, 12%). Dialysis vintage was associated with severity of AV calcification (p=0.04). The 18 subjects with long-term warfarin exposure (36.7 +/- 19.7 months) were more likely to have severe AV calcification (p=0.04). The odds ratio of falling into a higher category of AV calcification following 18 months of warfarin was 3.77 (95% confidence ratio, 0.97-14.70; p=0.055). There was an association between lifetime months of warfarin exposure and severity of AV calcification (p=0.004) that was independent of dialysis vintage, calcium and calcitriol intake.
CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that warfarin may be associated with severity of aortic valve calcification in HD patients and support the need for prospective studies.