Does having factor 5 leiden mean that you have to be on coumadin for the rest of your life?
- 13 Jul 2011 by treytrey
- 14 October 2011
No not necessarily. It depends on how severe your condition is - you are best to discuss this with your specialist.
Treatment will usually last for three to six months, but if there are several clots it could take longer.
In severe cases the course of drug treatment may be continued indefinitely.
Not necessarily. Three people in my family have heterogynous FVL. My brother has never had a clot, so he is only on a baby aspirin a day to be safe. My mother has only had a DVT so she is only on baby aspirin unless she has another clot in the future. However, I actively clot and have had DVT and pulmonary embolisms so I am on coumadin for life.
So as you can see treatment is different for everyone depending on their history so you should talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of being on coumadin therapy and for how long.
As the other responses have implied... it depends on your situation and whether or not you would like to gamble with developing a clot.
There are various risk factors which include "FVL" such as being over weight, living a sedentary lifestyle and if you're female - whether or not you're on birth-control or other hormone therapies. I was recently informed (as a female) that pregnancy increases your chances of forming a clot.
I was told by my Hematologist that I can stop my Coumadin "unless I develop another clot" - uh... a blood clot can KILL you, so I'd rather not gamble. It's not like the "FVL" is going to "go away" so I'd rather continue on the medication. Besides ALL of my other doctors concurred that it is something I will be on for the rest of my life.
However, I'm currently uninsured, so it's a real pain in the rear. Paying for daily blood-work is just not an option. So I do my blood-work when I can 'afford' to do my blood-work. BUT that's gambling as well. I do, however, take my medicine as instructed every day and have luckily maintained the same dosage. It helps to regulate your diet and exercise so that your levels will 'plateau'.
BTW - for those who are reading this that don't know "Factor V Leiden" is a clotting "disorder" and not a "disease". It IS hereditary and therefore you should have your children (if you have any) tested for this as well. I've noted (in my family anyway) that it doesn't affect just 'certain members' and it does not 'skip a generation'. It's also a simple 5 minute (blood-draw) that yeah, ok, you have to wait weeks for the results - but I'd rather wait weeks for a result than to lose my loved one because "we didn't know". I didn't know I had this and was not only over weight, but on birth control and extremely inactive - and almost died!! After a week in the hospital, I now take this very seriously as should any one else who has "FVL".
As always... it depends on the situation. I had clots... 2 in the leg and numerous on my lungs. As of right now I am on for the rest of my life. Before the clots I had sugery, was on oral birth control, and was overweight. I am working on losing the weight and now use an IUD. If I get to a very healthy weight and stay active there is a chance that I can get off coumadin.
- Coumadin Information for Consumers
- Coumadin Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Coumadin (detailed)
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