Coumadin (generic name warfarin) is an anticoagulant drug that slows down the time for blood clotting. It is frequently prescribed to people with weakened heart conditions like congestive heart failure to prevent pooled blood in the heart’s chambers from forming dangerous clots. If you have been prescribed Coumadin, you need to be aware of some common herbs that can alter the effectiveness of this drug.
Herbs That Alter The Effectiveness of Coumadin-Chamomile
Chamomile is a common herb that is been used to treat a variety of health conditions including gastrointestinal problems, reducing inflammation and fever. However if you are taking Coumadin, chamomile may increase the anticoagulation time and increase the risk for bleeding.
Herbs That Alter The Effectiveness of Coumadin-Feverfew
The herb feverfew is used to treat pain from such conditions as menstruation, arthritis, and migraines. It can also treat allergic reactions like dermatitis, psoriasis, and asthma. But for the patient who is taking Coumadin, feverfew, like chamomile, may increase your blood’s anticoagulation time.
Herbs That Alter The Effectiveness of Coumadin-Ginseng
The ginseng herb can be taken for several different conditions: fatigue, nervousness, hyper or hypotension, erectile dysfunction, and even cancer. But much like feverfew and chamomile, ginseng can also increase the blood clotting time for patients taking Coumadin.
Herbs That Alter The Effectiveness of Coumadin-Co-enzyme Q-10
Co-enzyme Q-10 is a fat-soluble vitamin-like compound found in our cells. People who take this herb are doing so for a number of conditions like heart failure, hypertension, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and even diabetes mellitus. Unfortunately co-enzyme Q-10 can decrease the effectiveness of Coumadin and cause blood to clot too quickly
Herbs That Alter The Effectiveness of Coumadin- St John’s Wort
Some of the conditions the herb St John’s Wort have been used to treat include depression and even muscle pain and wounds. But like co-enzyme Q-10, St John’s Wort can decrease Coumadin’s effectiveness.
Is the herb I’m taking interfering with Coumadin?
If a doctor has prescribed you Coumadin, let her know immediately what herbs and other medications you are taking. Do not begin taking other herbs without speaking to your doctor first. A test called PT or prothrombin time measures the time it takes for your blood to clot and can determine if the clotting time is above or below normal for a patient on Coumadin.
Patricia Dwyer Schull, 2010 Nursing Spectrum Drug Handbook, McGraw Hill 2010 pp 1238-1240, 1316-1319, 1321, and 1328
The RX List website: Warfarin (patient information)