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Brown Recluse/Coumadin

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Old 06-16-2009, 12:21 PM   #1
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angels22 HB User
Brown Recluse/Coumadin

Hi everyone,

I have a question.... In April I got bit by a brown recluse spider. I was in the hospital for over a week and while there they discovered I had a blood clot. I was put on coumadin and I go for PT checks every 2 weeks. The last 3 checks they keep raising my levels of coumadin I take. Some of my questions are:

Why can I not eat green leaf foods? I LOVE lettuce and not being able to eat that is driving me nuts!

Anyone else ever got bit by a brown recluse and had to be on coumadin? If so how long did you have to stay on it?

Just within the last week I have been getting muscle aches in my legs and I told my dr office but they do not seem to be too concerned.

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Old 06-16-2009, 12:55 PM   #2
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Re: Brown Recluse/Coumadin

It isn't all green leaf veggies you can't eat so do an online search and learn which ones are okay and ones to avoid. The reason for the really dark is that they contain vit K that interferes with the chemical properties of the Coumadin you have to take. This is I believe only a temporary thing until your body heals itself. I also believe that they don't show much concern when you call in with complaints of pain is that they really don't know what to say....perhaps they don't deal in brown recluse side effects and so don't really know what to expect...which would translate into they have no idea what to say to you when you have symptoms..... However if you are in pain ask them what you can take for the muscle pain.

Old 06-16-2009, 06:36 PM   #3
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Re: Brown Recluse/Coumadin

Thank you

Old 06-20-2009, 02:46 AM   #4
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Re: Brown Recluse/Coumadin

I have been on Coumadin for many years, as my blood is deficient in a particular clotting factor. A normal INR reading is between 2 and 3. When you drop below 2, your dosage is generally increased. Above 3 and your dosage will be decreased. It takes some time to establish a stable maintenance dosage. This is probably why your doctor doesn't want you to eat salads, at least for now. I would recommend, if you haven't already done so, that you check out some of the drug info sites online, or check with your pharmacist. There are quite a few foods (not just the green ones) you should be avoiding, or consuming in moderation, while on Coumadin. There are also medications that will alter the effectiveness of Coumadin, such as anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen, Advil, muscle relaxers, etc. So be careful taking over-the-counter meds for the leg aches.

As AnnD said, foods containing Vitamin K (and it includes more than just the green ones) will lessen the effects of the Coumadin. I love salads, too. And, as a diabetic and someone trying to lose weight, I eat them. But I have to be very consistent with the size and content of the salad and how often I have them, or my INR levels will jump all around. That said, you are recovering from a blood clot and now is not the time to be taking chances. Better to bite the bullet and do it your doctor's way.

There are some good articles on the net about your type of bite. Just open a search engine and type in something like "brown recluse spider bite effects" and you'll get some good information. Blood clotting and muscle pain are two of the side effects I saw listed. So perhaps the muscle aches you're having are to be expected Read, read, read. You may end up with a lot more than you'll get from your doctor. Hope you're feeling better soon!

Old 06-20-2009, 01:24 PM   #5
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Re: Brown Recluse/Coumadin

Hi Ann. I was bitten by a brown recluse several years ago. It apparently was on my pillow when I went to bed. Since hubby was already asleep, I never turned the light on. I ended up with a bite in my eyebrow and 2 on the side of my neck.

I can confirm that muscle aches are part of the bite. I ended up with a huge black area of dead tissue hanging over my eye. Since my sister lives in LA where brown recluse bites are common, she advised trying aloe on the area... pure aloe from the plant. bought a plant cut off a small piece every day, squished out a little and put it on. I did that all day long for several weeks and it healed without surgery. I was lucky.

The bites on my neck however caused completely different symptoms. My face and neck swelled and eventually my whole left side was swollen and painful. My doc figured it got into the lymph system. At least no necrosis with those bites, just the one over my eye.

It took about 10 weeks to fully go away.

WE aren't supposed to get brown recluse spiders here on New england but I was one of at least 10 my own doc treated (and the only one who didn't have to be hospitalized) and they were everywhere. They think it was because of a warm winter. They ride north with people in cars and RV's but are usually killed by our winters. One more reason to fight global warming!

Good luck. It takes time and I hope you don't get anymore clots. The brown recluse releases hemolytic toxins(black widows are neuro toxins) that can thin the blood itself and cause clots....that may be why your levels are changing as the toxins get out of your body. It's a weird and nasty little arachnid!

gentle hugs............Jenny

Old 08-08-2010, 06:40 PM   #6
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lnjltcret HB User
Question Re: Brown Recluse/Coumadin

During a discussion about spider bites today, my sister-in-law said she has read about some brown spider that is not a brown recluse whose venom is even worse that the recluse and that they are very aggressive and are seem to be mulitplying at an alarming rate. Anyone else heard about this. We had a friend who was bitten by a brown spider and is already suffering from necroses and apparent cellulitis.

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