INR Program Description
Warfarin (also call Coumadin) is an anticoagulant, or a blood thinner. Warfarin reduces the formation of blood clots and is used to treat or prevent blood clots in veins or arteries. Reducing the formation of blood clots can also decrease the risk of stroke, heart attack or other serious health conditions. When people take Warfarin, it is important to monitor the INR level since the INR, or international normalised ratio, confirms the patient is taking the proper amount of Warfarin. Too much Warfarin can cause bleeding and too little can result in a blood clot or other health problems.
The ESFHT INR program offers support to help patients manage their Warfarin level. Patients seek regular blood work that is reviewed by a registered nurse or pharmacist, who contacts the patient as needed to review the results and recommend any required Warfarin dose changes. In addition to the dose of Warfarin, the INR level is affected by a number of lifestyle factors. The pharmacist or nurse provides education on schedule for blood work, optimal nutrition, exercise, medication interactions while also working closely with the patient’s primary care provider.
Patients must be referred to the INR program by their primary care physician or nurse practitioner.
What to expect from INR Program?
Regular telephone calls with a registered nurse or pharmacist with the INR program
Nutrition and general lifestyle education and support
Consultation concerning medication interactions and side effects
Immediate follow up after INR results to manage medication dosage
Adhere to the recommended schedule for blood work
Take medication as directed
Maintain a healthy diet
Immediately report signs of bleeding
Helpful Links and Resources:
Thrombosis Canada, for patient information and dosing tools (paper-based nomograms and computerized decision-support software programs).
Coumadin, for patient information.
Heart and Stroke Canada, for more information on anticoagulants and patient’s education.