Part 1: Adverse Drug Events Related to Anticoagulation/VKA
Coumadin (warfarin) is a tough sell. As someone who has directed some of the largest Coumadin clinics in the country over the last 20 years, it is true that Coumadin is a drug that is impossible to dose, tough to monitor, causes death when used properly, and then lifesaving, when it’s not trying to kill you.
It shouldn’t be surprising that warfarin is the number one cause of adverse drug-related events in older Americans requiring hospitalization. In a fairly recent study (New England Journal of Medicine, 2011; 365:2002-12), adverse drug events (ADE’s) associated with warfarin occurred more often than oral antiplatelet agents, oral hypoglycemic agents, opioid analgesics, Digoxin as well as other high-risk drugs.