What are the difference between coumadin and heparin?

Coumadin and heparin are both anticoagulants; so what’s the difference between two. They do not dissolve clots; they only interfere with the coagulation process as a prophylaxis.

Courmarin derivatives are administered orally.
– They alter the synthesis of blood coagulation factors in the liver by interfering with the action of vitamin K
– Vitamin k is the antidote but in some cases fresh frozen plasma is given for bleeding complications.
– The action of coumarin derivatives is slower than that of heparin; therefore these derivatives are used as follow up for long term anticoagulant therapy.
– Lab test used is P t / I N R
Corticosteroid, alcohol, barbiturates and estrogen help stop bleeding, whereas NSAIDS and including aspirin and thyroid increase bleeding.
Heparin is not absorbed in the GI tract, so it is administered via I V or sub Q.
– heparin acts on thrombin to inhibit the action of fibrin.
– Standard Unfractionated type U F H can be administered I V or sub Q, but the Low Molecular Weight type is only administered subcutaneously.
– low molecular weight heparin include enoxaprin ( Lovenox) for which we don’t get rid of the air bubble.
– Currently used to prevent D V T in hip replacement or abdominal surgery patients.
– administer heparin in the abdomen two inches below unblicus.
– antidote for heparin is Protamine sulfate and the lab test is a P P T.


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