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
Pegster1338 avatar

I am scheduled for a cryoablation on Nov 30.  I asked the doctor a million questions plus I have read a lot here.  I forgot to ask one question though.  How long does it take to perform the ablation?  Would you happen to know a normal length of time?  Not that it matters.  I just wondered.

depotdoug avatar

Good evening my fellow AFIB friends, everyone trying to stay NSR and healthy cardiac lifestyles.  

My AICD/pacemaker interrogation last Tuesday showed My RA(right atria) pacing lead 7.7yr old is noisy may be fractured. May probably need extraction and new one fed shoved back in. Anyone have any experience in having an ICD Pacemaker lead removed replaced?? 

I’ve got << 4 months left Battery,@ 3months it’s replacement device time. Merry Christmas 🎁 for me....

depotdoug.  Doug 

Duchess avatar

Hi I'm new to posting hope I'm doing this right. I am 72 years old and I've had proximal afib for a year-and-a-half. I'm on eloquest Metropol and flecainide I'm thinking about an ablation in January. But reading some of the blogs has got me concerned. It almost sounds like I'm better off not doing it. Before I came down with Afib I was an absolutely top shape as I have been all of my life my resting heart rate was between 55 and 60 my daytime heart rate was between 65 and 75 had a hard time getting my heart rate up past 125 when I was running. I've been active and athletic all of my life. Since coming down with A-fib even when I'm not in afib I have extreme fatigue not being able to do many things climbing the deck of stairs my heart rate goes up I'm out of breath when I get to the top of the stairs. Even though I am not in AFib. My day time heart rate is between 70 and 125 it's Spikes all day long up and down up and down. My heart rate now drops at least once  night down to 38. After reading the blogs about chest pain And reoccurrences of AFib I wonder if it's the right thing to do. I had an MRI done 2 weeks ago and a special test that revealed 24% arterial fibrosis. I'm wondering if just living with this is the right way to go  any feedback would be appreciated

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