Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Warfarin
Last updated on July 3, 2019.
GENERIC NAME: Warfarin
CHINESE NAME: 華法林
COMMON BRAND IN HONG KONG: Orfarin
What is Warfarin for?
Warfarin is an anticoagulant, also called a blood thinner. It works by blocking the clotting factors and hence slows down the process of blood clot formation. It can be used to prevent embolisation (blockage of blood vessels) in rheumatic heart disease, atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythms), and after inserting a prosthetic heart valve, treat and prevent venous thrombosis (blood clot formed within a vein) and transient ischemic attacks (TIA / mini-stroke).
How to use it?
Warfarin can be taken by mouth as tablets. Your doctor will prescribe an initial starting dose based on your medical history, and this often ranges from 2-5mg daily. Warfarin doses are individualized, and will be adjusted based on your target prothrombin time (i.e. international normalized ratio [INR]), Warfarin should be taken at the same time every day. Your doctor should tell you your target INR and for how long you should take Warfarin.
What are the side effects of Warfarin?
The most common side effect of Warfarin is bleeding. You must tell your doctor if you notice any signs of bleeding like unexplained bruises and nose or gum bleeds, as well as signs of internal bleeding like blood in your urine or stool. You should keep a consistent intake of food with vitamin K, since the effect of Warfarin is modified by vitamin K. Warfarin interacts with many medicines, including over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before using a new medicine while taking Warfarin.
Where to buy Warfarin in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong, Warfarin is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.
For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at http://www.drugoffice.gov.hk
For detailed information about the use of Warfarin in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.
Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.