CoagMax® – Home Use

Am I suitable?
Self-testing can give you a control over your anticoagulation regime that many people crave. You are no longer tied to long waits in an anticoagulation clinic, so if you go on holiday your blood test goes with you. If you can perform a finger stick and your eyesight is good, you are capable. Not everyone is suitable to self-test, however the large majority are and with the support of your dosing physician you too can free yourself from regular hospital/laboratory visits. The key questions you need to answer are:

  • Are you on long-term oral anticoagulation? E.g. Coumadin® (Warfarin) / Marcumar® (Phenprocoumon)
  • Are your INR results currently relatively stable?
  • Are you confident enough to take a greater role in your anticoagulation management?
  • Would you prefer to test your own INR using a Fingerstick device or visit a clinic to have a venous blood sample taken?
  • Does your caring physician support a change in monitoring?
  • Does the independence provided by self-testing appeal to you/ fit your lifestyle better?

If your answers to the above questions are yes, ask your doctor about the possibility of moving to self-testing.

Factors that can affect your INR results
Maintaining a steady and safe INR is reliant on two things. Firstly and most importantly, you need to ensure you take the required dosage of anticoagulant every day, preferably at the same time each day. Secondly, these drugs work by reducing the amount of Vitamin K your body has to make blood coagulation factors, so anything you eat with large amounts of Vitamin K will influence your anticoagulant need and may require dosage adjustment accordingly. These include:

Kiwi, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Asparagus, Cauliflower, Peas, Lettuce, Spinach, Turnip, Collard, Mustard greens, Parsley, Kale, Some Mayonnaise, Some Margarine, Canola oil, Soybean oil, Vitamins, Soybeans, Cashews, Beef liver, Pork liver

Your doctor will advise you to eat these foods in moderation and consistently. If you make any major changes in your diet or start a weight loss plan please consult your doctor.

Alcohol can affect the performance of anticoagulants, but this does not mean that you must avoid all alcohol. Serious problems can occur with alcohol and Coumadin (warfarin) when youdrink more than 2-4 units a day or when you change your usual pattern. Binge drinking is not good for you. Be careful on special occasions or holidays, and drink only what you usuallywould on any regular day of the week.

Other Medications
Any product containing aspirin may lessen the ability of your blood to form clots and may harm you when you take Coumadin (Warfarin). If you take a daily aspirin, talk with your doctor about what dose is right for you. Other medicines you get over-the-counter may have aspirin in them. Your doctor must approve all your medications, including those medicines you have taken before you started Coumadin (Warfarin).