My 60 yr old wife has her heart valve replaced with a St Jude bi-leaf mechanical valve a week ago. Currently she is on 3mg warfarin per day. Advice has been given on food and drugs management. She is to maintain her INR between 2 and 3. What we want to know is whether the INR varies significantly from day to day outside the range or it is fairly steady and not easily affected by small daily variations in diet. The other question is whether home machines for INR monitoring are reliable. Many thanks. TTH
INR can vary significantly if the diet varies. if she were to eat a food loaded with Vitamin K, like say spinach, by the next day her INR would be very low. If she were to take a pain reliever, by the next day her INR could be off the charts high. That being said, as long as she follows a consistant diet and doesnt take any other medications or supplements then her INRs should be pretty consistent. On occasion her body may "shift" and throw out a high or low reading for no apparent reason. This is why INR's should be monitored at least every 4 weeks even when stable. Home INR monitors are pretty accurate when well mantained and calibrated. I'm also sending you a link to a great resource for patients on coumadin (warfarin)
- Warfarin Information for Consumers
- Warfarin Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Warfarin (detailed)
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