Warfarin and epistaxis: should warfarin always be discontinued?

Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 1997 Dec;22(6):542-4.


The object of this study was to determine whether warfarin could be safely continued in patients with epistaxis if the International Normalized Ratio (INR) was within the suggested therapeutic range. Twenty patients on warfarin treatment were compared with controls, matched for age and sex. Local measures for the control of epistaxis were undertaken appropriately in all the patients. In the warfarin group 17 patients (85%) did not discontinue warfarin as the INR was within the suggested range. There were no additional bleeding complications or failure of epistaxis control due to continuation of warfarin. There was no significant difference in the mean hospital stay between the warfarin and non-warfarin groups. It is concluded that warfarin can be continued safely in patients with epistaxis, in appropriate circumstances, and that the policy of stopping warfarin routinely in all patients with epistaxis should be reconsidered.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects*
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Epistaxis / chemically induced*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Warfarin / adverse effects*
  • Warfarin / therapeutic use


  • Anticoagulants
  • Warfarin