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Can long term usage of Coumadin cause acute anemia?  

Can long term usage of Coumadin cause acute anemia? I have atrial fib and have been on Coumadin for several years and have heard recently people in their 70's who have used that medication can have those side issues. If I had the Lariat procedure, could I possibly get off Coumadin?  

submitted by Sue from Waxahacie, Texas on 5/29/2013


by Texas Heart Institute cardiovascular surgeon, William Cohn, MD     

William E. Cohn, MDMany patients on chronic Coumadin therapy tolerate the medication quite well, but others experience adverse effects. In some, this can manifest as bleeding from the stomach or intestine. If the bleeding is significant, the Coumadin is stopped and, frequently, additional interventions are necessary. If however the bleeding is very slow and the exact source not identified, chronic blood loss and anemia may result. Although there has been no trial to date looking at the safety of discontinuing Coumadin after the LARIAT procedure, in many medical centers, that is the practice. Though a number of clinicians advocate that approach in their patients with atrial fibrillation, additional data is needed.

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Updated June 2013
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