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Medication to Be Avoided

Are there any drugs a person with von Willebrand disease should not take?

Yes. Certain drugs affect the way platelets plug holes in blood vessels. A person with VWD should never take drugs containing:

  • aspirin (ASA) and other drugs containing aspirin (Alka-Seltzer, Anacin, Aspirin, Bufferin, Dristan, Midol, 222, to name just a few)
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (indomethacin, ibuprofen and naproxen), unless prescribed by a physician knowledgeable about VWD
  • blood thinners such as warfarin or heparin.

Drugs containing acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be used for fever, headaches and minor aches and pains. However, large doses beyond the levels prescribed on the label should be strictly avoided. They can cause damage to the liver, especially in people who are hepatitis C – positive.

A new generation of anti-inflammatory drugs, called Cox-2 inhibitors, is now on the market. These drugs do not affect blood clotting, and seem to cause less irritation to the stomach. Celebrex is one of the brand names.