Many patients are disappointed to learn that brand name Coumadin, manufactured by Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has been discontinued in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Saudi Arabia June 1, 2020. Some patients have been on Coumadin for over 30 years.
Although physicians may prescribe generics or other anticoagulants, some individuals claim to be very sensitive to the generic warfarin and only the brand name Coumadin works for them. They could not control their International Normalized Ratio (INR) level with alternative medications, especially for patients with Factor V Leiden mutation.
Now with Coumadin’s discontinuation, what do patients do? Where can they find a good quality generic version? Should they try the brand-named Coumadin that’s made by a different manufacturer? What is the difference among them?
This article will compare remaining Coumadin brands and generic one to the BMS branded product.
What is Coumadin?
Coumadin is one of the brand names of Warfarin, which is an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that has been on the U.S. market for over six decades since its initial approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1954. It is used to prevent and treat blood clots and to prevent strokes from atrial fibrillation.
While this medication does not actually “thin” the blood, it does slow the body’s ability to form dangerous blood clots, such as blood clots in the arms or legs (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) and blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism or PE).
Patients take warfarin every day. The dose usually ranges from 1 mg to 10 mg. Healthcare provider will prescribe a specific dosage strength, however, keep in mind that this dosage may change based on the results of each laboratory test. The blood test, called prothrombin time (PT or pro time), is used to calculate your International Normalized Ratio (INR).
Are Other Alternative Brand Names or Generic Coumadin Available?
BMS Coumadin is no longer available anywhere in the world. Thankfully there are branded and generic alternatives that are available from Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, and Canada.
What has happened is that permission from BMS has been granted to use the Coumadin name in some countries, but the product is made by different manufacturers.
The current available Coumadin is coming from Australia, New Zealand, and Turkey. Although the product is the correct brand and is considered Therapeutically equivalent, this product is not the same Coumadin produced by BMS that was sold in the USA.
Brand Coumadin From Australia And New Zealand
In Australia and New Zealand, warfarin is only available in two commercial preparations: Coumadin and Marevan. Both brands are manufactured by the same company, Aspen Pharmacare Australia Pty Ltd, and previously by Boots Healthcare Australia Pty Ltd.
Recent news is that Aspen Pharma is no longer the Australian sponsor of Coumadin and Marevan and the distribution is now done by Mylan Health. So, you might see Mylan on the label of Coumadin from Australia in the future.
Coumadin from Australia contains either 1 mg, 2 mg, or 5 mg of warfarin sodium as the active ingredient.
Brand Coumadin from Turkey
In Turkey, another brand name Coumadin is Manufactured by Zentiva (of Sanofi Aventis).
Strengths of Coumadin from Turkey: 5mg, 10mg
Generic Warfarin from Taro Canada
There are a few manufacturers that produce generic warfarin.
Taro Pharma provides warfarin tablets in the same strengths as Coumadin by BMS: 1 mg, 2 mg, 2.5 mg, 3 mg, 4 mg, 5 mg, 6 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg.
Recommendations for patients
- Continue using Coumadin or generic warfarin and contact their physician to the INR checked
- Since dosing is carefully titrated up or down, prescribers often prefer to keep patients on one form or another once they reach therapeutic levels.
- Regardless – patients should be getting regular INR levels done.
- Are Medications from Canada, UK, Australia, Or Turkey the Same as Brand Name Products Approved by the U.S FDA?
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