Warfarin Sodium (Page 4 of 9)

7.2 Drugs that Increase Bleeding Risk

Examples of drugs known to increase the risk of bleeding are presented in Table 3. Because bleeding risk is increased when these drugs are used concomitantly with warfarin, closely monitor patients receiving any such drug with warfarin.

Table 3: Drugs that Can Increase the Risk of Bleeding

Drug Class

Specific Drugs


argatroban, dabigatran, bivalirudin, desirudin, heparin, lepirudin

Antiplatelet Agents

aspirin, cilostazol, clopidogrel, dipyridamole, prasugrel, ticlopidine

Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents

celecoxib, diclofenac, diflunisal, fenoprofen, ibuprofen, indomethacin, ketoprofen, ketorolac, mefenamic acid, naproxen, oxaprozin, piroxicam, sulindac

Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

citalopram, desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, milnacipran, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, vilazodone

7.3 Antibiotics and Antifungals

There have been reports of changes in INR in patients taking warfarin and antibiotics or antifungals, but clinical pharmacokinetic studies have not shown consistent effects of these agents on plasma concentrations of warfarin.

Closely monitor INR when starting or stopping any antibiotic or antifungal in patients taking warfarin.

7.4 Botanical (Herbal) Products and Foods

More frequent INR monitoring should be performed when starting or stopping botanicals.

Few adequate, well-controlled studies evaluating the potential for metabolic and/or pharmacologic interactions between botanicals and warfarin sodium exist. Due to a lack of manufacturing standardization with botanical medicinal preparations, the amount of active ingredients may vary. This could further confound the ability to assess potential interactions and effects on anticoagulation.

Some botanicals may cause bleeding events when taken alone (e.g., garlic and Ginkgo biloba) and may have anticoagulant, antiplatelet, and/or fibrinolytic properties. These effects would be expected to be additive to the anticoagulant effects of warfarin sodium. Conversely, some botanicals may decrease the effects of warfarin sodium (e.g., co-enzyme Q10 , St. John’s wort, ginseng). Some botanicals and foods can interact with warfarin sodium through CYP450 interactions (e.g., echinacea, grapefruit juice, ginkgo, goldenseal, St. John’s wort).

The amount of vitamin K in food may affect therapy with warfarin sodium. Advise patients taking warfarin sodium to eat a normal, balanced diet maintaining a consistent amount of vitamin K. Patients taking warfarin sodium should avoid drastic changes in dietary habits, such as eating large amounts of green leafy vegetables.


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Warfarin sodium is contraindicated in women who are pregnant except in pregnant women with mechanical heart valves, who are at high risk of thromboembolism, and for whom the benefits of warfarin sodium may outweigh the risks [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]. Warfarin sodium can cause fetal harm. Exposure to warfarin during the first trimester of pregnancy caused a pattern of congenital malformations in about 5% of exposed offspring. Because these data were not collected in adequate and well-controlled studies, this incidence of major birth defects is not an adequate basis for comparison to the estimated incidences in the control group or the U.S. general population and may not reflect the incidences observed in practice. Consider the benefits and risks of warfarin sodium and possible risks to the fetus when prescribing warfarin sodium to a pregnant woman.

In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.

Clinical Considerations

Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions

In humans, warfarin crosses the placenta, and concentrations in fetal plasma approach the maternal values. Exposure to warfarin during the first trimester of pregnancy caused a pattern of congenital malformations in about 5% of exposed offspring. Warfarin embryopathy is characterized by nasal hypoplasia with or without stippled epiphyses (chondrodysplasia punctata) and growth retardation (including low birth weight). Central nervous system and eye abnormalities have also been reported, including dorsal midline dysplasia characterized by agenesis of the corpus callosum, Dandy-Walker malformation, midline cerebellar atrophy, and ventral midline dysplasia characterized by optic atrophy. Mental retardation, blindness, schizencephaly, microcephaly, hydrocephalus, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes have been reported following warfarin exposure during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy [see Contraindications (4)].

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

Warfarin was not present in human milk from mothers treated with warfarin from a limited published study. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions, including bleeding in a breastfed infant, consider the developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding along with the mother’s clinical need for warfarin sodium and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from warfarin sodium or from the underlying maternal condition before prescribing warfarin sodium to a lactating woman.

Clinical Considerations

Monitor breastfeeding infants for bruising or bleeding.


Human Data

Based on published data in 15 nursing mothers, warfarin was not detected in human milk. Among the 15 full-term newborns, 6 nursing infants had documented prothrombin times within the expected range. Prothrombin times were not obtained for the other 9 nursing infants. Effects in premature infants have not been evaluated.

8.3 Females and Males of Reproductive Potential

Pregnancy Testing

Warfarin sodium can cause fetal harm [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Verify the pregnancy status of females of reproductive potential prior to initiating warfarin sodium therapy.



Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 1 month after the final dose of warfarin sodium.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Adequate and well-controlled studies with warfarin sodium have not been conducted in any pediatric population, and the optimum dosing, safety, and efficacy in pediatric patients is unknown. Pediatric use of warfarin sodium is based on adult data and recommendations, and available limited pediatric data from observational studies and patient registries. Pediatric patients administered warfarin sodium should avoid any activity or sport that may result in traumatic injury.

The developing hemostatic system in infants and children results in a changing physiology of thrombosis and response to anticoagulants. Dosing of warfarin in the pediatric population varies by patient age, with infants generally having the highest, and adolescents having the lowest milligram per kilogram dose requirements to maintain target INRs. Because of changing warfarin requirements due to age, concomitant medications, diet, and existing medical condition, target INR ranges may be difficult to achieve and maintain in pediatric patients, and more frequent INR determinations are recommended. Bleeding rates varied by patient population and clinical care center in pediatric observational studies and patient registries.

Infants and children receiving vitamin K-supplemented nutrition, including infant formulas, may be resistant to warfarin therapy, while human milk-fed infants may be sensitive to warfarin therapy.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Of the total number of patients receiving warfarin sodium in controlled clinical trials for which data were available for analysis, 1885 patients (24.4%) were 65 years and older, while 185 patients (2.4%) were 75 years and older. No overall differences in effectiveness or safety were observed between these patients and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Patients 60 years or older appear to exhibit greater than expected INR response to the anticoagulant effects of warfarin [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Warfarin sodium is contraindicated in any unsupervised patient with senility. Observe caution with administration of warfarin sodium to elderly patients in any situation or with any physical condition where added risk of hemorrhage is present. Consider lower initiation and maintenance doses of warfarin sodium in elderly patients [see Dosage and Administration (2.2, 2.3)].

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