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Difference Between Heparin and Coumadin

Heparin vs Coumadin

When vulnerable human beings, such as those diagnosed with hemophilia (a blood clotting problem), come to the hospital and the physician gives them Heparin and Coumadin, then the patients bleed more, and the doctor might be liable for medical malpractice.

Heparin and Coumadin are drugs used to prevent clotting. Thus, it induces blood circulation by making the consistency of blood from thick to thin allowing the smooth flow of blood inside the veins.

So what is the difference between Heparin and Coumadin?

Heparin and Coumadin are both used to keep the blood from excessive clotting. An example of these cases are deep-vein thrombosis and strokes in which a clot has partially or totally blocked the blood vessels, therefore, impeding blood flow. What Coumadin and Heparin do is that they dissolve the clot and thin the consistency of the blood, therefore, allowing the blood to flow freely.

The instances in which blood thickens is when one smokes chronically. This also makes the veins non-elastic. That is why people who smoke for a long time are more prone to stroke and heart diseases.

In terms of available forms, Coumadin or Warfarin can be administered via oral and intravenously, meaning it’s available in vial form and tablet form. Heparin, on the other hand, is only available in intravenous form.

For the side effects, Heparin usually causes redness, pain, swelling and irritation at the site of the injection for the intravenous route. Coumadin or warfarin’s side effect include gastrointestinal upset such as bloating, stomach pain, vomiting, and feeling of nausea.

Heparin and Coumadin are medications used to prevent blood clots. Coumadin is also specifically used to prevent heart attacks and strokes, as those can be caused by blood clots. Both have serious side effects that, although not common, would require immediate medical treatment. Regarding adverse reactions, coumadin has more serious reactions when taken including low grade fever, diarrhea, body aches, chills, discoloration of the skin, numbness, head ache, weakness, and lot more. Heparin has lighter adverse effevts which include blood stool, epistaxis or nose bleeding, blood in the urine, and easy brusing.

The antidote for heparin is protamine sulfate while the antidote for coumadin is vitamin K.


1.Heparin and Coumadin are both blood thinners.

2.Heparin is available in injection or vial form only while coumadin is available in vial and oral form.

3.Heparin has lesses serious side effects compared to coumadin.

4.The antidote for heparin is protamine sulfate while the antidote for coumadin is vitamin K.

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