Search our website Find job opportunies at THI and St. Luke's Find a doctor location and contact information
Heart Information Center
Ask a Heart Doctor
  Back to previous page


Help us improve this service.

Your feedback will help guide us in developing this site.

Ask a Texas Heart Institute Doctor 
Informed patients make better patients.


Is there a relationship between long-term warfarin use and memory loss?


submitted by Stephen from Plattsburgh, New York on 9/24/2012


by St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital pharmacist, Stephen Michaud, PharmD, BCPS 

Dear Stephen, Regarding your specific question of whether a relationship exists between warfarin [coumadin - an anticoagulant or blood-thinner] use and long-term memory loss, I can find no data that says long-term warfarin use is associated with memory loss. However, two studies have attempted to answer a similar question of prevention of cognitive decline with and without warfarin. One study of 364 patients in the UK, half of whom had atrial fibrillation, a condition for which warfarin can be used to prevent stroke, found no association between cognitive decline and atrial fibrillation or warfarin use. Another study of 405 men in the UK at risk for cardiovascular disease, some of whom were taking aspirin and/or warfarin, found that  "verbal fluency and mental flexibility were significantly better in subjects taking antithrombotic medication [warfarin or aspirin] than in subjects taking placebo." Therefore, my assessment of the data is that warfarin has not been shown to be detrimental to cognition and may even protect against cognitive decline, in certain patients.  It is important to note that these two studies are small and may not represent your particular condition. Please ask your doctor about your particular condition. Thanks.  

See also on this site:    

Has your question or a similar one already been answered?
Search all the Heart Doctor questions and answers.

To search for a doctor or access St. Luke's physician referral service, use the "Find a Doctor" link at the top of this page.

Updated October 2012
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to us on YouTube Find Us on Flicikr Follow Us on Pinterest Add us on Google+ Find us on LinkedIn 

Please contact our Webmaster with questions or comments.
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© Copyright Texas Heart Institute
All rights reserved.