Warfarin is causing depression & low mood

Hi there,

I have to take warfarin for life. It is killing my mood and happiness and I wonder, does anyone have a similar experience? I am looking into trying Sinthrome instead as life on warfarin is a quality of life I have never known and want to give up ASAP. Because this isn't identified as one of the side-effects people can tend to dismiss what I say. But I am very self-aware and ordinarily very happy so know - it is the warfarin speaking.

Thank you. I welcome anything you have to say.

x :-)

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27 Replies

  • You need to discuss this with whoever is managing your APS.

    I never experienced this when i was on Warfarin, I'm now on Fragmin injections.


  • Thank you. :-)

  • I am on Warfarin and I have never feeled depressed on Warfarin. My neurological symptoms disappeared and that made me feel better. I have heard that there are few side-effects of warfarin. It is only the the risk to have a bleed but there is antidots to it. It has been tried for so many years and I have read it is a drug that has a positive outcome on many patients with APS. But I I have heard that depression goes sometimes with APS.

    Warfarin is recognized worldwide

    .Best wishes from Kerstin in Stockholm

  • Thanks Kerstin. This is both helpful and kind. I am switching meds soon and looking forward to that. Take care and thanks once again. x

  • Hi there, sorry things are rough. I think you must have a detailed chat with whichever consultant is managing your Warfarin and perhaps the GP also. I have not heard of this as a side effect. Many people can have episodes of feeling very low just dealing with life alongside this disease plus of course the very obvious fatigue that comes along with it. Some people find adding in Plaquenil has helped them, terms of the fatigue which can drag people down at times. Also it is very important to regularly check your levels of D B and Iron as all these if low can cause a negative effect and

    make you feel more down and tired. Also a Thyroid problem not picked up can also cause depression. I hope you have some support in your life at home to help you through this patch and discussing your Warfarin with your medical consultant is a good starting point. We can only really explain our own experiences, mirrored across this forum and give you suggestions for when you visit your clinic. Do tell them you feel awful. Let us know how you get on. MaryF

  • Thanks Mary. This is great. I will continue chatting to my GP and change my meds. Take care. x

  • Hi, my opinion is that its more likely to be down to Aps rather than the warfarin? I'm on warfarin but at times I struggle with depression....but I believe mine is down to Aps.....others may have side effects from warfarin? We are all different....but this is what I think in my opinion ( I am not medical )

    I have been through a lot emotionally recently which won't help anyway so quite weak at times.

    As others have said also check with your gp what they think plus your levels with iron, thyroid etc.

    Most of us are going through what you are feeling, you are not alone x

  • Hi

    I was very interested to read your post, it seems as though it is a chicken and egg situation with the warfarin and APS. I think the advice from others is spot on. It makes you feel quite isolated when you know that something has changed, but no-one seems to be listening. I work in mental health and regularly see people whose mood has been affected by medication, given for a physical health problem.

    .I too have felt depressed since starting warfarin for life 17 months ago. I've noticed that diet affects my mood, if I have chocolate or sugary food my mood dips, also if my sleep is poor, if I don't try gentle exercise etc, so yes you need to look at your lifestyle. However personally I have to say that there has been a massive difference for me since starting warfarin. I know its doing what it needs to do, to prevent clotting but I have headaches, double vision, memory loss, poor co-ordination, the list goes on and on and of course these symptoms are going to affect my mood. I can honestly say that since I started taking warfarin I have felt ill almost every day, but we are all different. I was told recently that I must have a hypersensitivity to warfarin. Thankfully after being told endlessly by my GP,practice nurse and haemotologist that warfarin cannot cause some of the symptoms I have, I am going to see an APS specialist in June and I have a huge list of questions!!!!!. So I would echo everything that has been advised by the others who have replied and say you need to get as much advice as possible, listen to your body, be aware of changes,(cause and effect ) and ask to be referred to a specialist. Good luck x

  • Hi, You are saying you have "doublevision" poor co-ordination and still other neurological symtoms and I at once think that you perhaps are not well anticoagulted with warfarin.

    Some of us need a higher INR and perhaps your hematologist has put you on a too low therapeutic range or you visit the coagulation clinic not so often and then you do not know that your INR is too low. My doublevision was gone at once after warfarin. I now have started to selftest and have all the antibodies and I know how important it is to control your INR and to be in target with this illness.

    Best wishes from Kerstin in Stockholm

  • Hi thanks Kerstin for your reply, I see my Practice nurse every month, sometimes every 3 weeks without fail for my INR checks,my target range is 2.5 and it has been stable for a while now . I am convinced that warfarin is responsible for my problems, but have felt very let down by professionals telling me that I "can't" have the symptoms I describe, as there is no evidence that warfarin is the causal factor.. I have pushed hard to be referred to a specialist in APS and am looking forward to my appointment in June. x

  • Hi Kyrsty

    I agree with Kerstin it sounds like your are not adequately anticoagulated and you should discuss the possibility of raising your target from 2.5 until you find a level that reduces your symptoms. 2.5 is quite low for people with APS. I would have felt very ill if my INR was only 2.5, when I was on Warfarin. I'm now on Fragmin injections and feel much better.


  • hello Dave,i hope you don't mind me asking but how long was you on warfarin before you changed to fragmin??i had daily fragmin injections for 18mths then had to change to warfarin with inr range of 3.5-4.5.have been unstable since jan,after being on warfarin now for over 4years,and am seriously considering going back to fragmin for a while,why did you go back to fragmin,if you don't mind me asking?

  • I was on Warfarin from 2002 to 2009 and then I started to get a lot of my original symptoms returning. I went to see Prof Hughes and he put me back on Fragmin and I would never willingly return to Warfarin.

  • Hi, I am sure you have a too low INR and visit the clinic nurse every month is too seldom for you. There are APS-doctors that can be found on this site. Go for it!

    Best of luck in the fight to find an APS-doctor that i familiar with APS!


  • Sorry you are suffering from depression awful isn't it you really need to speak with your Doctor as soon as you can.

    I am not sure if it is the Warfarin but in my case I am sure it was Hughes syndrome affecting my brain, like the fog etc. I found it really hard to speak to my Gp about it, despite being in tears on many appointments he hadn't guessed. I am now on antidepressants and I feel totally different.

    Please see your Doctor today

  • Thanks Daisy and thank you all. I am really grateful for all of your posts. I am in an open dialogue with my GP.

    With love. x

  • Hi: I started Warfarin after a stroke in March and I have had a hard time adjusting to the testing, diet, etc. I have to practice accepting the fact that my life has changed as far as having APS--being diagnosed post stroke and that absolutely loving dark green veggies, I can no longer have the diet I'm used to. I'm trying different vegetables and learning to like them. I found a coumadin clinic near me that makes testing and adjusting meds easier. I don't like taking warfarin, plaquenil and Lipitor every day, but they're keeping healthier. I'm sorry you're experiencing depression and low mood. Your doctor may discover it has something to do with your condiiton or it could just be a matter of adjusting and accepting taking the drug. I don't know anything about any alternative meds but I'm so grateful to this site and I'm sure I'll learn more and get the support I need. Stay strong.

  • As many times as I hype this book the publisher should be paying me an ad fee! "In the Kingdom of the Sick" is a wonderful book that delineates the very personal, and UN-shareable changes we go through when we receive a chronic, for-life diagnosis. It's as though the author picks up your hand through the pages of the book and says, " I understand." And the book gave me a clinical, objective explanation as to why my diagnosis made me feel so isolated and judged,( though actually, I now know it was me judging myself.).

    It might me the warfarin, or it might be the shock of coming to terms with a chronic, life altering illness. Or a bit of both.

    Do talk with your GP. And I recommend giving that book a look.

  • Thank you all so much! Very helpful! x

  • Hi. My husband has also been put on warfarin for life. The side effects are horrible. One of them being dreadful mood swing and bad moods.

    The GP just says it can't possibly be the warfarin and it's got to be what ever else he is taking...but as he isn't taking anything else.....!

    I sent an email to the 'yellow book scheme' (nothing to do with your warfarin yellow book) which lets us, the patient, tell the powers that be what side effects we are getting. Whether it does any good or if any one even reads them I don't know.

  • Hi Tipi, I am sorry to hear this and yet glad you are able to express it somewhere, someone may hear. What I have come to realise is that warfarin un-earths me. In saying that I literally mean, when the dose is too high, electrically it un-earths me and my body chemistry rages. I have to get my feet on the earth and be as close to nature as possible. Best of wishes in all. Love, D x

  • Hi, You have said your husband is selftesting. You have to do it at least twice a week to be able to follow the INR changes. Make notes of the K-vitamin intake. I take more broccoli if my INR is a bit high. I almost never change my tabletintake. CONSTANCY in the things you put in your mouth.

    I do not think it is the Warfarin that makes you husband have low mood. There are very few sideeffects with Warfarin. It is the illness and the situation. Most of us need an INR around 3.0 to avoid the horrible symptoms.

    Hope he has a good APS-doctor that understands his situation and that he prpobably only has to have a higher INR. Perhaps he needs something more than Warfarin. I had very high bloodpressure in the beginning. That goes with APS also

    Best wishes

  • Hi Lure2. Unfortunately if his INR goes above 2 then his eyes bleed, the mood swings get worse, a large 'blood blister' comes up in the middle of his back and his hair falls out....as he doesn't take any other medication, (his blood pressure is fine) and the symptoms only started when he started the warfarin the only conclusion is the warfarin is causing it. Our GP was only doing the INR test about every 6 to 10 weeks, which is why we bought our own machine. It doesn't matter what he eats or doesn't eat, the INR goes up and down all the time.

  • It sounds terrible for him. If he has not even 2.0 then he is not anticoagulated at all. Get help!

    Best wishes from Kerstin

  • Hi, I also have been on warfarin for over 10 years now and I am tired all the time, find it hard to sleep (can go days without sleeping till I crash from exhaustion). Just the thought of getting up and doing everyday things is tiring and yet I used to have to much energy!! I used to be a gymnast and have awards for swimming but you would never think that now.I hope this lets you know that what you are feeling you are not on your own.

  • Hi I am on Warfarin for life. I started 6 years ago and I now suffer from bad depression. I am convinced its the Warfarin. I don't sleep properly and often I cant get to sleep at all. I have also been told that "it cant be the warfarin" but I am very active, run a business, exercise a lot and yet have terrible bouts of depression. When I wake up in the morning, I really have to fight to get positive again. Its not a good way to feel. I have no idea what to do or what the answer is. I understand all the comments on here!!

  • Hi,

    Warfarin totally destroyed my quality of life so I switched to Acenocourmarol which is the same drug made by a different manufacturer and was myself again with one month. You don't have to have your mental health and emotional well being destroyed by warfarin. Ask your GP if you can try this alternative. Throughout Europe it is preferred over warfarin and requires the same INR checks.

    I hope this helps.

    With so much kindness to you.


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