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Warfarin is one of the most widely used drugs in the world, for a variety of indications involving the prevention and treatment of thromboembolic phenomena. Its narrow threshold of toxicity, its dose-response ratio and the many factors that determine how well it works means that even after 60 years of using this drug, it is still being studied to establish the safest dosage range.
However, a primary consideration in the use of this drug is whether there are any contraindications to its use. These may be absolute, forbidding its use under any circumstances whatsoever, or relative, in which case the physician needs to balance the risks of bleeding complications against the risks of thromboembolism posed by the disease condition requiring warfarin therapy.
Absolute contraindications to warfarin include:
Relative contraindications require a careful balancing of the risks of warfarin against the risks of thromboembolism, before making a decision as to administration of the drug. They include: