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What causes bloody sputum while taking warfarin ?

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what causes bloody sputum while taking warfarin
Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 23 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

As you know warfarin is prescribed to reduce the likelihood for clots or strokes to happen. In your case you're probably taking warfarin because you have a history of a blood clot or a risk for blood clots because you have an irregular heartbeat. In the process of sending the blood sometimes warfarin can lead to a slight degree of bleeding.

In your case it is possible that some of the mucosa in the back of your throat has become irritated. If you cough vigorously this could create a little bit of inflammation. In that sense some slight loss of blood can happen. This does not sound serious. However, if the frequency and amount of blood you find in the sputum continues to worsen then you should see your physician.

Also as you probably know there is a blood test which we use as physicians to monitor the therapeutic dose of warfarin. I hope that you have had a level checked within the last four weeks. Usually we like to see the warfarin level or INR between 2.0 and 3.0.

Some things can affect the warfarin level as well. If you eat a diet which is low and vegetables your warfront level can sometimes go a bit high. This is why physicians usually will check the warfarin level every month or so. Finally I would like to encourage you to see your physician if you develop any significant degree of weakness or if you happen to notice blood in your stool. This does not sound like it is the case in your situation so I cannot think what you're dealing with is any type of emergency. I would recommend that you monitor things for the time being and if anything changes you should see your doctor. I would expected that dispute them which has been blood tinged will slowly resolve in the next couple of weeks. Again if this does not occur. Please see your doctor.

Thank you again for submitting your query. I hope my answer has been both adequate and informative. If you have additional questions. I am available to address them.


Dr. Robert.
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