Continuation therapy for approximately 6 months
If the person has a clot, the therapy can go on for 6 months or longer until it gets dissolved. There are, however, individuals who are on warfarin for the rest of their lives. The most life threatening clots are:
- Deep Venous Thrombosis
- Pulmonary Embolism
Life Long Therapy
Cardiac Valve Replacement: When you replace a cardiac valve, a clot may form on the plastic-like valve, so anticoagulants are used to prevent from forming on that valve.
Atrial fibrillation: Patients who have atrial fibrillation means their atrium is not having a full contraction. That means the blood is never fully emptying out of the atrium. That residual blood could eventually form a clot and go down into the ventricles and go down into any of the arteries (coronary; carotid). So these people will be on continuous therapy.
Pregnancy: If a pregnant woman develops deep vein thrombosis, you have to use heparin instead of warfarin.
The antidote to warfarin is Vitamin K that can be given in the injectable form (subcutaneously) or tablets. The injectable form is called Phytonadione.