Tags: Health Topics | Heart Disease | blood thinner | medication | warfarin | dementia

Blood Thinner Medication: Is There a Hidden Link Between Warfarin and Dementia?

By    |   Wednesday, 06 Jul 2016 05:05 PM

Blood-thinner medication such as warfarin, in addition to lifestyle changes, is often prescribed to patients at risk of blood clots and to prevent strokes.

According to the American Heart Association, blood thinner medications slow down the clotting process and are used to stop harmful blood clots that can cause heart attack, stroke, thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism. As with many medications, dangerous and damaging side effects are possible.

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Blood thinner medication warfarin has a history of risks and damaging side effects. Warfarin has led to serious excessive bleeding due to its blood-thinning properties, reports Drugs.com, as well as difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, unexplained shock, intracranial hemorrhage, renal failure, GI hemorrhage, and retinal hemorrhage.

Recent studies have shown that warfarin and dementia may have a hidden link. According to Medscape, more than 10,000 patients taking the blood-thinning medication warfarin were studied. In patients who were also receiving warfarin as a treatment for atrial fibrillation, they were 1.6 times more likely to develop dementia than the remainder of warfarin study participants.

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Previous research has shown that risk of developing dementia while on warfarin increased in younger patients with atrial fibrillation when warfarin levels were poorly controlled.

Increased risk of dementia may occur when blood levels are too high over a long period of time, which can increase the risk for brain bleeds and compromise the brain, says Everyday Health. Experts recommend maintaining target blood levels of warfarin to decrease the chances of developing dementia.

Regardless, researchers found that continual use of warfarin over an extended amount of time increases the risk of a major or life-threatening bleeding event due to too much blood thinning, says Medical Daily.

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Blood-thinner medication such as warfarin, in addition to lifestyle changes, is often prescribed to patients at risk of blood clots and to prevent strokes.
blood thinner, medication, warfarin, dementia
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2016-05-06
Wednesday, 06 Jul 2016 05:05 PM
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