Recently I have been diagnosed with mini strokes. My doctor stopped the Plavix and has me on Coumadin (Wafarin) Why? I didn't ask. I have to be monitored on this drug and can't take aspirin. Besides the pricing what's the difference? Thanks
Coumadin works by decreasing the amount of vitamin K available for use in the body and therefore reduces the efficiency of blood clot formation.
Plavix affects platelets that clump together to form clots and stop bleeding in the event of a cut/injury.
Elevated homocysteine levels increases the risk of blood clots. Optimal homocysteine is 6.3umol/L.
Good article on this: Nattokinase—The Natural Blood Thinner | Smart Publications. Excerpt...
"Researchers have found that Nattokinase is four times more potent than plasmin, works more effectively than warfarin drugs, and doesn’t produce any side effects. On the other hand, the side effects associated with warfarin (such as Coumadin®) blood thinners are numerous and well documented. The short list includes:
Hemorrhage - internal bleeding
Abdominal pain and cramping
Fatigue and lethargy
Feeling cold and chills
Loss of hair
You would have to ask the doctor but if you want to lower plaque build up lower inflammation.
Excerpt from The Hidden Truth About "Reducing Your Cholesterol" by Mike Geary
"High Cholesterol is NOT the Villain!
As time goes on and scientists continue to learn more about heart disease, it has become quite clear over the recent years that inflammation within the body (NOT cholesterol levels) is what causes plaque build up in the arteries and eventual heart disease. Inflammation can be caused by many personal factors such as stress, smoking, viruses, consumption of refined and/or hydrogenated fats (man-made trans fats), an imbalance of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats to omega-3 polyunsaturated fats in the diet, excess refined sugars in the diet, etc.
Here's a quick and dirty of how it works in general. Cholesterol is a healing substance within the body (among many other important functions), and responds to arterial inflammation by getting deposited in combination with other substances, forming "plaque" as a healing agent on the artery lining.
Levels of inflammation in your body can be measured with what's called a CRP test (c-reactive protein). The accuracy of this test still has room for improvement, as it can vary depending on the time of day and other factors, but it is a much better indication of heart disease risk than a cholesterol test (which is practically useless for determining heart disease risk).
Another more important test than cholesterol levels for heart disease risk is a test for serum homocysteine levels. The next time your doctor wants you to get blood cholesterol tests, request CRP and homocysteine tests instead. He/she should be well aware of the validity of these tests if they are up to date.
Basically, if you have significant internal inflammation, this plaque will be deposited as a healing agent regardless of whether you have high or low cholesterol. On the other hand, if you don't have inflammation, high cholesterol levels just keep circulating without getting deposited on the artery linings. Therefore, it is more important to control inflammation rather than trying to lower your cholesterol.
Lowering your cholesterol doesn't attack the root of the problem (what is actually causing the inflammation in you). Lowering your cholesterol does nothing except to make the drug companies rich, and possibly leave you with a whole assortment of possible negative side-effects."
I asked the same question of my Cardiologist. I think Coumadin is more effective in preventing blood from congealing in veins, and Plavix is more effective in preventing blood from clotting in arteries. The discussion went over my head after that.
I'm sorry to learn about the TIA's Chatty. I know you have had some issues with your vision because of small vessel disease. Why can't you take aspirin?
Since my bypass surgery, I only take a statin, a simple low dose beta blocker, diaretic and Potassium and 1/4 of an aspirin daily, but still have bruising problems from that little bit of aspirin. Is bruising the issue you have with aspirin?
I know that stroke and heart valve patients take Coumadin and heart patients are usually given Plavix and/or aspirin. As you have both issues, you pose a really good question.
I think this is a good article to understand the differences:
Anti-Aggregants, like Plavix and Aspirine, stop the platelet activation and aggregation while Anticoagulants, like Coumadin, stops the cascade of coagulation factors.
My understanding is that to start the aggregation, you need a sort of damage somewhere, (e.g. in a blood vessel) however coagulation can occurs in the blood due to increase of coagulation factors, little movement of blood (like in a left ventricle with very low EF) or too much, turbulent, movement of the blood (like when atrial fibrillation).
What I do not understand is why your dr. says that you cannot take aspirin.. I am sure there are people taking both. Are you sure he said "Don't take aspirin" of "You do not need to take aspirin".
I know you say you have plaque build up in your arteries, but this is a risk of both heart attacks and stroke. If a piece of plaque ruptures, it will travel around the blood stream and likely block a smaller vessel in a major organ. The site of the rupture will signal a clot to form for repair. The artery is only used to being seriously damaged from the outside, so it thinks you will bleed to death if it doesn't cover the damage. It's just a shame it doesn't realise there is no leak, and it will stop blood flow through the vessel.
I do believe Warfarin is stronger than plavix. As stated by someone else, it works in a different way, but it does require regular monitoring. You will need to have your blood clotting factor checked. 1 is how long a normal persons blood takes to clot. If your clotting factor is 2, it means your blood takes twice as long as someone with no medication. I believe for TIA's they usually start between 2.5 and 3.0.
It is a bit worrying you are having several TIA's, have they scanned your Carotid arteries in your neck?
Yes, Ed. The right side is about 80% blocked and that will be stented soon. Since I am having the numbness on the left side, they are going to go ahead and stent that side. The lefr side is about 60% blocked and doesn't really pose any real threat at the moment. My biggest concern is the amount of fat in my blood. My trigs are still off the chart. We are having a real problem trying to treat that issue. **sigh** I lost both parents at young ages. So I have that in the back of my mind always. My dad was fine when my youngest was born. He came into town to visit me and was having a blast. 3 months later he was gone. His heart had become so enlarged it couldn't pump anymore. So, that was hard and I have that memory.
Hi, I'm really very sorry to hear about what happened with your Father :(
Labs seem to be focusing on the small dense LDL lipids at the moment, trying to establish what is causing them. At present they know sugar and alcohol are definitely strong in the running, but there are probably other things which cause their production. If you have high triglycerides, then you likely have a lot of these small dense LDL lipids. Otherwise, your cholesterol is probably under control and the blockages you are experiencing are from previous artery damage. I can't help but wonder if the mind plays a big role in this too. Up until about a year ago, I used to think about my disease all the time and be worried if something bad would happen. It got to the stage where I just said "oh stuff it, if something happens, it happens, I've tried everything". I just didn't seem to care or worry about it anymore, I'd had enough. Is it just coincidence that my arteries haven't formed any blockages since then? Is it just coincidence that I have gone the longest time since 2007 without needing stents? Is it coincidence that I'm now passing stress tests with flying colours? Maybe the body isn't supposed to deal with worry for such long periods of time? On top of that, since cutting out sugars, my cholesterol levels have plummeted. However, I'm sure that if I didn't take statins they would rocket again, due to hypercholesterolemia.
I agree with you on the "mind over matter" issue and my doctor and i have discussed this. He agrees with me that your health and the long term can be modified by our way of thinking. I do believe that we can speak and think certain things into existance. That's why while I do realize that my dad passed way too early, this is my reason for fighting back. That and the fact that 3 grandchildren are at home depending on me.
My family seems to think that I need to consider retirement. I am still working. And they seem to think it is not wise to be driving. I have to admit, they may be right, but I am not willing to accept that yet.
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I was in the hospital at the end of May and must have missed those posts. Know that you have made some really great friends here!
I am on both plavix and coumadin. I was formerly just on Plavix which helps the blood not to form clots and travel throughout the body, such as the heart, lungs, et. I neglected to take my Plavix for one week and ended up in the hospital with multiple clots in both legs. I was in ICU and in the hospital for 10 days. I am also now on Coumadin also. This thins the blood so it flows throughout your arteries easily. My levels always have to be checked. I bruise terribly from taking this, but it's better than the alternative. Good luck
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