A recent article posted on WebMD, written by Peter Russell and reviewed by Dr. Rob Hicks, supports the notion that Patients on long-term Coumadin and warfarin therapy should be given the option to self-monitor their INR at home.
The anticoagulants warfarin and Coumadin are usually prescribed for patients with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Pulmonary Embolism, Atrial Fibrillation, and Mechanical Heart Valves that are all at an increased risk of stroke.
The National Institute For Health and Care Excellence say that patients testing their INR at home can avoid the disruption and anxiety involved with going into a hospital or lab and waiting for results. NICE says the real benefits of testing their INR at home is that patients can be monitored more frequently and their medication dosage could be adjusted more accurately and timely.
The Anticoagulation Self-Monitoring Alliance has been campaigning for people on warfarin to be given more options and decide for themselves about how their condition is managed. They say people should have the option of measuring their INR using a small self-testing meter to obtain a small drop of blood from a finger stick and then report the results to their health care professional for interpretation. Meters such as the CoaguChek XS system made by Roche and the INRatio2 meter made by Alere are two of the top choices for INR self testing today.
You can view the rest of the article on WebMD.