Recent Blog Articles
The popularity of microdosing of psychedelics: What does the science say?
Pouring from an empty cup? Three ways to refill emotionally
Is pregnancy safe for everyone?
New pediatric guidelines on obesity in children and teens
Screening tests may save lives — so when is it time to stop?
Natural disasters strike everywhere: Ways to help protect your health
The case of the bad placebo
Do we feel pain more at night?
If you use cannabis, do it safely
Time for a diabetes tune-up
Are the new blood thinners better than warfarin (Coumadin)?
Q. I have atrial fibrillation and currently take warfarin (Coumadin) to prevent a stroke. I haven't had any problems with it, but I wonder if I should switch to one of the newer blood thinners. Are there any advantages?
A. For about 50 years, warfarin was the only choice for people who needed to take an oral anticoagulant (blood thinner). While warfarin is inexpensive, it has its downsides. People who take it must regularly undergo a blood test, called an INR, to ensure they are getting the proper dose. A person's blood should be "thin" enough not to clot easily, but not so thin as to pose a high bleeding risk.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!