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Hyacinth

Should I get my INR checked?

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Do you really need to worry about this before you actually go onto a strong anti-coagulating medication i.e. coumadin?

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If you are not on an anti-coagulant, you do not need to worry about your INR.INR is just the ratio that renders your blood to a state that prevents your blood from clotting.

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Thanks Zarin. I am on a low dose low weight anti-coagulation medicine, but was never told anything about monitoring my INR. I only learned about it from this site. I suppose if I go onto the more drastic medicine I will be told more about it.

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I would think that being on a low dose of anticoagulants means you don't need INR checks as your INR is going to be quite low. If you were on higher doses then you would need it monitored so it didn't get too high.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the INR is only used to measure warfarin levels and does not apply to any other anticoagulant medications.

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You are right, Steph.

INR is a way of defining how long it takes your blood to clot. It is expressed as a ratio; twice as long sd normal, three times as long etc. This is called the Prothrombin Time (PT)

When you are not taking any oral anti-coagulants - Warfarin/Coumadin your INR is 1. Therapeutic doses of Warfarin/Coumadin are often in the range of INR 2.0-3.0 which means between 2 and 3 times as long to form clots.

Injected anti-coagulants - Heparins, LMWH - Fragmin, Clexane Lovenox etc do not affect the time it takes your blood to clot; they affect the blood platelets and prevent them from 'clumping'.

If you are injecting your INR will be 1 as you are not affecting your blood clotting time. If you are injecting long term you should have blood taken to check your platelet levels at regular intervals.

It is important to note that even seemingly low dose Warfarin must be monitored

either trough drawing blood for lab testing or by fingerstick testing. If you are taking Warfarin and your helathcare provider is not checking your INR ASK WHY NOT.

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