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Warfarin Rat Poison Widely Used as Prescription Blood Thinner

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Many drugs pushed out by Big Pharma are equivalent to rat poison, but only a handful can actually claim to be rat poison. Meet warfarin: a widely used blood thinner which, prior to being used to treat a common heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation, was used as rat poison.

Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heartbeat that affects 2.2 million Americans. It occurs when the upper chambers of the heart do not dance to the beat of the lower chambers. This irregular and sometimes rapid heartbeat can cause poor blood flow, thereby increasing the risk of stroke.

Getting to the heart of the problem

The compound responsible for bleeding – dicumerol – was discovered in 1934. In the early 1940s, it started to be tested in people as a blood thinner. In 1945, a stronger version of dicumerol was patented and named after the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

Health complications attached to Warfarin

Various health complications can arise when blood becomes either too thick or too thin. To keep blood levels in check, doctors are supposed to monitor patients on warfarin with monthly blood samples and adjust their doses accordingly.

Rate of brain hemorrhages spikes

In fact, according to a 2007 study published in the American Academy of Neurology, the rate of brain hemorrhages associated with blood thinning drugs quintupled during the 1990s. A brain hemorrhage is a stroke triggered by bleeding in the brain. The researchers stated that the spike in brain hemorrhages was primarily due to an increase in the use of warfarin which, ironically, is supposed to reduce the risk of stroke.

Natural blood thinners

The risks and benefits attached to warfarin make it a difficult medicine to gauge. In Australia, for example, warfarin use has increased to a rate of 9 percent a year for its ability to mitigate strokes. However, the risks associated with warfarin have caused many people to quit taking the medication, particularly among seniors who have the greatest risk of stroke.


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