How do you use natural blood thinners in place of Coumadin?


Quick Answer

Only use natural substances that thin the blood under medical supervision, according to Dr. Andrew Weil. Natural blood thinners have not been proven to be a safe and effective replacement for prescription anticoagulants such as Coumadin.

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Full Answer

Patients taking Coumadin and other pharmaceutical anticoagulants prescribed to prevent blood from forming clots are regularly monitored for physicians to determine how fast their blood is coagulating so correct dosages are administered, explains WebMD.

While there are natural substances that have anticoagulant properties, no information is available regarding dosages of these substances that indicates how much of the substance is needed to produce the same therapeutic effect as the prescription medicines, states Dr. Weil. Unlike prescription drugs, supplements containing natural substances such as garlic, ginger, fish oil and vitamin E are entirely unregulated, so there is no way to determine if identical dosages of such supplements from different manufacturers produces identical results.

If a person combines supplements having anticoagulant properties with Coumadin or similar drugs in an effort to reduce his dosage of the prescription drug, the combined effect has the potential to significantly increase his risk of uncontrolled bleeding, asserts Dr. Weil. Persons taking Coumadin should consult their physicians before taking any herbal product or natural remedy.

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