DVT deep vein thrombosis forum

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The Rat Poisen (Warfarin) is killing me
Started by Ken
Posted: October 19, 2010 at 05:09
Got a DVT in late August from riding my mountain bike. Dyhydration was the culprit, and not taking in electrolytes. That, plus my low resting heart beat. Lucky I didn't die. When I did the ultrasound they found it extended from my ankle to my hip. I had an interventional radiologist do thrombolysis (bust the clot) above the knee (the don't touch the clot below the knee - not UCLA,not USC, not Cedars-Sinai,nobody.

Now I find myself on 6mg Warfarin. My brain feels like it is going to explode. I don't have any energy. I have a fever and I am sweating. Every day now. All day long, 7 days a week. I think I am going to quit taking the Warfarin as I would rather be dead than live like this. Besides, I know how I got the clot so I don't think my blood is suspect.


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Re: The Rat Poisen (Warfarin) is killing me
Reply #1 by Kristi from Michigan
Posted: October 19, 2010 at 16:20
Quite frankly, it may not be the Warfarin. For the record, rat poison contains the drug but the drug itself is not outright rat poison.

You need to go to a doctor.

You say you know how you got the clot but there's never a 100% certainty. You said you got it from riding your bike, yet that means you were healthy and active which is the way of preventing a clot. If it was that massive, then it had to be growing for a while. We thought we knew what caused mine 5 years ago (surgery) until I got another one this past August and found that I have a genetic disorder.

The dumbest thing you can do is to self diagnose and switch your medication on your own. If you are feverish, you NEED to go to the doctor...especially if it's started this far into your treatment.
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Re: The Rat Poisen (Warfarin) is killing me
Reply #2 by Tom in Connecticut
Posted: October 19, 2010 at 23:13
I agree with Kristi, definitely talk to a specialist, preferably one who specializes in the treatment of DVT/PE (hematologist).

Both my clotting episodes happened during the Mt. Bike race season here in the Northeast. My clot in 1992 went from my ankle to my hip and was accompanied by a PE. The clot in 1995 was my opposite leg. I have been on Coumadin since that timeframe (with a short period of not being on it).

In 1996 I was also diagnosed homozygous for Factor V Leiden clotting disorder along with elevated homocysteine levels (which I was attributed to the energy drinks I used for training and racing which were high in amino acids). My body can not process the waste product of amino acids, homocysteine. So rather then naturally depleted the homocysteine it dumped it into my blood stream.

Also as Kristi points out, Warfarin never poisoned rats but actually caused the rats to hemorrage due to eating large quantities.
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Re: The Rat Poisen (Warfarin) is killing me
Reply #3 by Ken
Posted: October 20, 2010 at 06:57
Thanks for the reply guys:) I know about the Warfarin being an anticoagulant. I have an appointment with my Hematologist Thursday.
I didn't take the Warfarin last night because I thought I might not have woke up today. I was feeling really really dizzy and sweating. Almost unconscious 3 times yesterday. Today I feel 50% better. But I took the Warfarin so I feel a little dizzy now. I know, I probably wrecked the results of my INR for Thursday, but I think I did the right thing by not taking it. I think I was getting too much and it was causing the symptoms.

I am certain that I got my blood clot from dehydration. I was training for a mountain bike race (the Traverse, local). I wasn't taking GU energy gel that I usually take and was riding in the morning on an empty stomach (only water). The next day I had an appointment to have an upper GI done and I think I got my DVT during the procedure.

Low resting heartbeat of an athlete + dehydration + not moving the legs for a while = recipe for DVT.

Kristi - I am sorry to read that you have a genetic disorder. I had my blood checked and I was negative for genetic coagulation

Tom - Great to hear from a mountain biker. Check out my favorite website geoladders.com.

recipe for a DVT for an athlete is

1)low resting heartbeat
2)dehydration
3)period of immobility

"In 1996 I was also diagnosed homozygous for Factor V Leiden clotting disorder along with elevated homocysteine levels (which I was attributed to the energy drinks I used for training and racing which were high in amino acids). My body can not process the waste product of amino acids, homocysteine. So rather then naturally depleted the homocysteine it dumped it into my blood stream."

Interesting - thanks for the heads up. I will check it out.

No one ever told me about getting a DVT from riding a mountain bike. I have heard about dehydration and burning of muscle tissue. But never a DVT. Lance Armstrong's website does have a section on it though. It wasn't until I googled it until I found out about the connection. I actually thought I had a torn calf muscle. But after 4 days of symptoms I decided to go in and have my calf checked out. I wish I would have gone in sooner as I may have had less damage done to the veins below my right knee.

85% of the people who get DVT's on airplanes are athletes. So they may already meet requirements 1 and 2. #2 if they have not been taking in electrolytes.


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Re: The Rat Poisen (Warfarin) is killing me
Reply #4 by Tom in Connecticut
Posted: October 20, 2010 at 14:10
The athlete and airplane study was a very small study and something which I wouldn't take to seriously due to lack of long-term evidence on a larger scale. Air Health had posted the article regarding this and general consensus amongst blood clot specialist is the study was not conclusive. The question which comes to play is, are all air travel passengers who often take extended flights at increased risk of developing DVT. The study looked at athletes specifically but how did it really compare to all other air travelers. Anyone who spends a lot of time flying, driving, sitting, is at risk of developing clots. Obviously dehydration is a big concern and something which atheletes are most affected by as compared to other patient communities. I'm sure there is a relationship to developing blood clots but just how high compared to other patient groups, I don't know. Then again, same is true with the military who is also faced with periods of dehyration, immobility, long term standing/sitting.

Likewise, there was another small study that looked into bikers who obtained clot as a result of too much time in the saddle. Again, the study suggested that due to pressure points, you may be more susceptible to developing clots over someone who didn't ride a bike but it doens't give you a realistic percentage of occurence.

Here is a newsletter my organization did back in 2006 that discussed athletes and blood clots: http://stoptheclot.org/News/article114.htm

Likewise, here is a website pertaining to athletes who survived DVT/PE: http://clot-buster-triathlete.blogspot.com/ If you look under the athlete of the month section you will see everyone from Professional athletes, Olympians, to recreational riders/runners. I'm even in there: http://clot-buster-triathlete.blogspot.com/
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Re: The Rat Poisen (Warfarin) is killing me
Reply #5 by kay
Posted: October 24, 2010 at 23:07
Hi Tom i too was put on warfarin i have systemic lupus and hughes i was on clexane for two years after multiple miscarriages and then after a PE now warfarin, i too like yourself felt like i was dying, dizzy, sick, detached from the world, my head was about to explode, depressed, chronic fatigue and serious joint pain, nightmares, severe headaches, memory loss just to name but a few, i stopped the warfarin and all the above stopped, this is no coincidence, i started and they came back again! My consultant has now changed it to Sinthrome, most of the side effects have stopped apart from the chronic fatigue and joint pain which is making me still feel dreadful and sadly the hospital will not admit that the anticoagulants are causing it and that its my illnesses but very strange that when you go on the net every one and i mean everyone speaks of the side effects.
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Re: The Rat Poisen (Warfarin) is killing me
Reply #6 by Kristi from Michigan
Posted: October 24, 2010 at 23:40
I have asked several doctors about feeling those ways and the only reasons I'm being given is that "I'm depressed from suddenly going off of birth control" or that it's all due to the "stress of having the clot".

I am hoping that, despite my genetic mutation, due to being so young I can go back on an aspiring (325mg) a day instead of being on warfarin for the rest of my life. For the several years between my first and second DVT that I was not on birth control but was taking aspirin, I had no clotting problems.

We'll see!

I wish I could give more of an input on the athleticism side of things but don't have much to offer. I am thankful for the conversation, though. I have been dancing for almost 6 years, hike regularly, and at the time of my clot I was working at the gym with a personal trainer twice a week. The last two months have been hard since all activity basically stopped. I've finally gotten back into walking regularly but was told I cannot even start dancing for another 2-3 months.
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Re: The Rat Poisen (Warfarin) is killing me
Reply #7 by Tom in Connecticut
Posted: October 25, 2010 at 13:11
Kay, for me, I found taking vitamin B6 and B12 greatly improved the fatigue issue often associated with Warfarin/Coumadin. I am not on low intensity Coumadin with a target range of 1.5-2.0 so many of the negative side affects are diminished (at least for me) at that particular target range.

Kristi, aspirin is a anti-platlet and though great for arterial clot prevention, as little to due with preventing venous clots. If they plan on keeping you on life long Coumadin, as your physician to looking into Low-Intensity Warfarin treatment (the lower target INR I mentioned above). This treatment was shown to be beneficial by the PREVENT Trial. Keep in mind though, not all people due well on low-intensity Warfarin due to needing a higher target INR to prevent clotting, but other have had much success. I was an original participant in the PREVENT Trial.
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Re: The Rat Poisen (Warfarin) is killing me
Reply #8 by Kevin
Posted: February 6, 2012 at 19:49
Hey, Ken, Kristi wasn't looking for your pity.
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Re: The Rat Poisen (Warfarin) is killing me
Reply #9 by xbikeracer
Posted: February 6, 2012 at 22:15
I was diagnosed last July, the darn thing is no longer acute (dangerous) but the main vein is still clogged and I get tired and the leg throbs. I bet it's the same with you. BTW, been on 6mg of warfarin just like you. I'm never getting on a bike again, f'that. I was one of the nations best master riders. It just ain't worth dieing for.
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