Monitoring Anticoagulation at Home

Monitoring Anticoagulation at Home

Are there any options for do-it-yourself monitoring?


While most people on warfarin or Coumadin® go to an anticoagulation clinic to monitor and test their blood’s clotting time, some people are able to do their own testing and monitoring from home. People who do so may feel a greater sense of control and ability to take part in managing their own care. This option is especially valuable for people who maintain a full schedule, enjoy traveling, or have other reasons that make it difficult to get to the clinic. The need for testing and monitoring at home only applies to people taking warfarin or Coumadin® for stroke risk reduction using anticoagulation medication; NOACs do not require testing.

Who is a good candidate for at-home anticoagulation monitoring?


If you have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and have been taking warfarin or Coumadin® for at least 90 days, you may be eligible to begin testing your INR or clotting time (also called Prothrombin time) from home. If you’re interested and willing to manage your part of the process, your healthcare provider can submit a request to authorize you to complete your testing and monitoring requirements from home. From there, you’ll work with your insurance provider or national healthcare benefits program to arrange for any necessary payments and connect you with a monitoring company that will provide the equipment and teach you the steps for timely and accurate measurement.

What is the process for at-home monitoring?


Most medical coverage options allow for weekly or bi-weekly testing, and the testing must usually be communicated back to the monitoring company who then communicates it to your doctor so that you can maintain a prescription for your medication. The monitoring company will alert your healthcare provider if results of your blood clotting time are out-of-range so your doctor can promptly adjust your dosage. This regular communication also allows the monitoring company to track your usage and send additional supplies when your usage data indicates you should be running low, which will save you time and energy.

People who monitor at home will likely want to create a convenient place for storing supplies, testing, and reporting results. During training, your monitoring company may help you work out a system to remind yourself when it’s time to test.

We encourage you to talk about your experience and share tips and insights with other users at our online forum.

Learn more about clot times, lab testing, and what your ratio means by visiting our Anticoagulation Lab section of AFib Town.

Recent Discussions From The At Home Forum
Duchess avatar

Had an ablation at Loyola in Chicago 13th of December I'm now in afib 90% of the time the most painful I have ever had. It's completely debilitating I'm out of AFib for a few hours and then right back into it  one right after the other. until January 1st. January 1st through the 15th I had no a7 no symptoms and then it started all over again 18 days of pure hell . A week after the  ablation they did the thyroid test I was in  the hyperthyroidism. I had told them that I had been diagnosed with Graves disease  . When I first went in for the consultation they took notes. Roughly a week after the ablation. I was in such bad shape my husband and I went in to talk to him. He told us I was just healing. never took a blood test before the surgery. I am an absolute misery I cannot get out of bed I'm out of a afib for to three hours and then in afib 18 hours or more I have severe pain in the right side of my chest and they told me it was all in my head I don't know where to go from here has anybody got any suggestions. I cannot lie flat on the bed my chest hurts so bad I have to sleep sitting straight up of what little sleep I can get please has anybody got any kind of suggestions

Jeanamo815 avatar

Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you this week and hope all goes well!

Your friend,

Jean

LuisT avatar

Good evening,

 I am a 45-year-old male who was diagnosed with Afib  on December 18, 2018.  I now have gone through a second cycle of medications and don’t believe in their positive affects.  My cardiologist started me on Diltiazem 30mg 3x a day,  after multiple hypertension episodes and negative side effects I discontinue the medication.  My doctor went on the next regimen of Losartan 25mg, Metoprolol 25mg and Eloquist 5mg during all this time. 

 

 I have talk to my cardiologist concerning the side effects, I have also done my research as well. But it seems as though some of the side effects that I have explain to my doctor or not necessarily due to the heart medication. She and other doctors believe it is potential anxiety.   My side effects include the following;  headaches, dizziness, jitters,  stomach discomfort (gas), uneasy feelings,  A cool sensation on left chest and sometimes radiating to center of chest, head pulsating, weak, weight loss (20+ lbs).  I have always been athletic and would go to the gym regularly. Now on these new meds I do not find the desire to get into the gym and work out. 

 My question to all of you that have taken these medications is this. Have you felt these types of side effects or anything different from what I have described.  I have not had another episode of proximal Afib  since it was noticed in the hospital the first time. My echo cardio gram and a stress test reveal that everything is fine and strong with my heart and no blockages. So another question would be why am I on these medications?  I do understand the preventative philosophy concerning the condition but it seems like the only thing that is going wrong with me is hypertension. Is hypertension a side affect of  Afib? 

Any insight to my question would be greatly appreciated.

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