Article

5 reasons to measure your INR values at home

1. Measuring anytime, anywhere can provide you with more freedom and time.

 

If you are taking a vitamin K antagonist, such as warfarin, and measure your own INR values, you can do it anytime. You can stop filling up your calendar with appointments to get your blood drawn and start filling it up with things you want to do.

 

2. You can be more involved in your treatment, giving you the confidence and the reassurance to maintain control of your vitamin K antagonist therapy.

 

If you are worried about whether you are in therapeutic range or not, you can measure your own INR values and be informed. Results are immediately reported to your doctor who can make any changes to treatment - without waiting days for lab results.

 

3. Self-testing can make it easier to adapt your therapy so it is right for YOU and potentially reduce the risk of complications such as clots or bleedings.

 

Scientific studies have shown that patients who measure their own INR values spend more time in therapeutic range compared with usual care where your blood is drawn and sent to the lab. More time in therapeutic range can mean less chance for stroke or related complications.1-3

 

4. You can take control of your own INR testing and be more involved in your own treatment.

 

Patients who regularly measure their own INR values with the support of their doctor are likely to have better control of their anticoagulation medicine than if they get tested in a clinic or lab.1-3

 

5. Most patients can learn to test at home.

 

Studies have shown that about three-quarters of suitable patients can be taught how to correctly measure their own INR values.4,5

  1. Sharma et al. (2015). Health Technol Assess 19, 1–172
  2. Bloomfield et al. (2011). Ann Intern Med 154, 472–482
  3. Heneghan et al. (2016). Cochrane Database Syst Rev 7, CD003839
  4. Connock et al. (2007). Health Technol Assess 11, iii–iv, ix–66
  5. Dolor et al. (2010). J Thromb Thrombolysis 30, 263–275

 

Abbreviations

INR: International Normalized Ratio