Coumadin, or warfarin, is a blood thinner that works in the body by antagonizing the effects of vitamin K, typically found in dark leafy greens. The most common condition for which we use Coumadin, is atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm, in which there is an elevated risk of stroke from a tiny blood clot that can form in the fibrillating atrium of the heart. It is also used for 3-6 months following blood clots in the legs or lungs.
The level of thinness of the blood must be carefully maintained between twice and three times normal. The INR, or international normalized ratio, measures the thinness of the blood compared to normal. The INR should be between 2-3. Too low, and the risk of stroke increases; too high, and the risk of excessive bleeding increases.
For your convenience, we have point of service fingerstick INR testing. You know what your INR is, and how to change your Coumadin dose in a matter of minutes. No more waiting by the phone for someone to call you and tell you what to do.