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RELEVANT GUIDELINES FOR PATIENTS WHO ARE ON WARFARIN [COUMADIN]

WARFARIN [COUMADIN], an anticoagulant drug is generally given to patients who need blood thinning medication and are at high risk of stroke or heart attack.  It prevents harmful blood clots from growing larger.  When  blood clots are smaller they have a tendency to dissolve on their own.  The problem arises when they grow large and cause blockages in the path of blood flow which ultimately leads to a heart attack.  WARFARIN helps in reducing the clotting tendency of blood.

Patients who are on WARFARIN require regular monitoring of their PT/INR level.  The PATIENT SELF TESTING KIT can easily be performed at home with accurate results in seconds.  Your Doctor or Coumadin clinic can adjust the dose of WARFARIN after receiving the PT/INR level.  WARFARIN tablets come in various colors and each color represents a different dose.

 

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While performing the PT/INR test at home certain things should be kept in mind.  The most important is the size of the LANCETS (needle).  The larger the gauge number the SMALLER the needle.  For INR testing, the manufacturer recommends a 21 gauge   needle which is actually larger than the diabetic Lancet and is needed to get the required blood flow.  We recommended the STAT SAFETY LANCET 21 GAUGE 2.4mm {orange} or if you need a longer needle the  SAFETY LANCETS 21 GAUGE 3mm {Extra-long needle}

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Below is a list of DO’S and DON’TS:

To DO List :

  • Always look out for signs and symptoms of bleeding.
  • In the event of injury or illness immediately contact your Doctor.
  • Inform all other doctors and dentists that you are on WARFARIN.
  • Set up your schedule for performing your blood test as directed.
  • Take extra care while using any kind of sharp object such as knives or scissors.
  • If you shave use an electric razor other than the manual one.
  • Always choose a soft bristle tooth-brush.

NOT TO- DO LIST :

  • Never adjust the dosages of Warfarin on your own.  The doctor is the only one authorised to change your dosage.  If you miss a dose never ever double it.
  • Avoid taking any new medication including herbal supplements without contacting your health care provider.
  • If you are pregnant you are not advised to use WARFARIN.
  • Don’t drink alcohol on a daily basis.

WHAT SHOULD BE EATEN?

There is no specific diet which needs to be followed if you are on WARFARIN [COUMADIN] but there are some foods which can make WARFARIN less effective.

There are many factors present in our bodies which cause the blood to clot.  The Vitamin K dependent clotting factor is interfered by WARFARIN  which decreases the amount of Vitamin K in our body. In order for WARFARIN to work as it should, your body requires a specific consistent amount of Vitamin K .

If the level of vitamin K is too high > WARFARIN gets less effective

If the level of Vitamin K is too low < the chances of side effects of WARFARIN may increase.

You can also have a look at :

THE ROLE OF INSURANCE IN EXPANDING THE USE OF HOME PT/INR MONITORING

What is PT/INR Test and Why it’s Beneficial

Foods that are rich in Vitamin K include –

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  • Green lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Red cabbage
  • Chard
  • Turnip greens
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Collard greens
  • Kale

Foods which are low in Vitamin K help manage a well- balanced diet. Some of the foods are listed below –

  • Fruits such as watermelon, pineapple, bananas, peaches, apple and strawberries.
  • Raw cucumbers
  • Onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, sweet potatoes
  • Sweet corn

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