Home PT/INR testing

By rob0334 Latest Reply 2015-03-13 22:51:29 -0500
Started 2011-06-30 17:29:21 -0500

Coumadin is much cheaper than Pradaxa, its a pain having to go to the lab all the time but its much safer and easier to take. I recently got my own home INR testing machine which I test with a finger stick at home. doc gets results and they tell me my dose by phone. Cost me peanuts compared to Pradaxa. My insurance covers the monitor and my warfarin routin doesnt change but now I dont have to go to the lab every week, check out ptinr.com, it has an awsome vitaminK registry which i use for my cooking. I eat whatever i want in moderation an MD gets my results.

12 replies

jeggsey 2013-05-20 02:17:21 -0500 Report

Have you investigated getting yourself a home testing device. If you have medical insurance, you may be able to claim the cost.

cherokeeBlonde 2011-07-11 16:00:31 -0500 Report

Hello, I to take coumadin and yes it is a pain in the _ _ _ to go to the lab I need mine checked usually at least 1 to 2 times a week, and I live around 2 hours from any town in the mountains. So when they came up with the Hemosense Machine to test at home I thought yea that will make it a bit easier. However there is something the doctors and hospitals do not tell you about. with the hemosense machine to test at home which is a figer stick but on the side of the fingers where capallaries are. well people are on coumadin for alot of reasons, myself its because I have a mechanical heart valve, so the problem they do not tell you about is the fact that you have to allow for a .05 to .01 difference in what the results really are, in other words if I test at home and my results come up lets say 3.2, and in reality they could actually be either higher or lower so it could be 2.2 or it could be 4.2. anyhow I think you get the picture. and in my case that much of a variance can kill me, so yes its nice to have to test at home but you have to allow for the difference. See about 17 years ago I actually was involved in a study by Johnson and Johnson who was trying to come up for a way to have coumadin patients test at home, so they would draw a regular blood draw from arm and than do a finger stick draw, well the study lasted a few years at least, and Johnson and Johnson chose not to come out with a tester due to the fact that the results could vary so much. So hopefully you are like myself and I know my body so well better than any doctor ever, and I just know when my pt is off. I have had a stroke in 1992 was paralyzed could not talk eat nothing but I made my self recover with out any therapy at all just good friends, and you would never know now that I even have a heart condition. as you can see by my photo. its like recently I have had so much trouble breathing and wheezing that on friday I went and saw my primary care doctor whom I adore, and we discussed my meds and a while back a cardiac nurse who follows me weekly with phone calls etc. had told me to quit taking metalozone which is a water pill, so I did, well I put on 14 lbs of water wieght, and this time it was different cuz usually I retain all over my body, but this time it all went to my stomach which was actually around my heart and lungs, so he told me to start the metalazone up again which is on top of the fact that I take 120 mg of bumex (water Pill) and also 2 25mg aldactones a day. well when I got home I did just that and the next morning I was able to breath again walk from one room to another and I lost 12 lbs in a 24 hour period now that is amazing so you see everyone is different, and I feel that if you get in touch with your body you will learn to feel or just know when there is something not right. dam I have gone through at least 13 different pacemakers since I was 12 years old, and mostly cuz they quit before they are suppose to. I have gone to emergency and said that my pace maker was not working correctly and they tested it and ekg and all and sent me home said it was fine, so the next day I drove to cihildrens hospital in oakland where my doctor was and had to be rushed to emergency surgery, to replace the pacemaker and also a lead, and I actually drove myself there and walked into ICU and got in a bed. your mind has alot to do with your body stay in tune. God BLess you all Michele

HeartHawk 2011-07-24 23:55:50 -0500 Report


An amazing story! You are so right about the mind/body aspect. Science is just now starting to understand and explain it but it is real!


jeggsey 2013-05-20 02:38:38 -0500 Report


Mind Body Spirit. It all works together, use your mind. Meditation including PMR (Progressive Muscle Relaxation) is awesome. I've learnt how to meditate, and it has proven to be of great help, in my recovery from heart disease and mental desease.
Meditation is often linked to faith, and all faiths have a meditation routine that you can use. From Buddhism to Christianity, what ever your faith, you can find a routine that fits.

God bless,

HeartHawk 2011-07-08 18:07:31 -0500 Report


Yes, if you can handle the testing routine warfarin is much cheaper although Pradaxa has been found to be a better drug with regard to afib. Cost should come down as two new competing drugs should be on the market within a year if all goes well.


Perplexed 2011-07-08 06:21:52 -0500 Report

Thanks for the headsup, rob! Its been almost a year now since I was started on coumadin and I've only been able to go one month between INR "sticks" once and only a couple of 2 week intervals, other than that it has been weekly. I normally don't mind blood draws but I am beginning to have some concern about how long before my arm veins decide they've had E-NUFF! and quit cooperating. I'm not a candidate for Pradaxa due to Crohn's disease. I'll have to check this out.

rob0334 2011-07-09 10:25:14 -0500 Report

I tell ya, they handled all my medicare stuff and <30days I was trained and self testing once a week at home, stayed in range 9 out 10 weeks. I tell you sticking my finger is soo much easier. glad to be of help.

jeggsey 2013-05-20 03:09:24 -0500 Report


I test my INR at home, and manage my own warfarin intake accordingly. I keep the doctor informed as I have to see him for other stuff anyway.

Now, I need to know when is the best time of day to test my INR level, given that I take my warfarin at 4pm every afternoon. I was doing a few google searches and just can't get the answer I am after.

I figure the INR test should be some time in the morning. Do I need to find the warfarin "half-life" to work all this out, or can you help me.?


HeartHawk 2011-07-08 18:08:21 -0500 Report


Good input! I hadn't heard about Crohns and Pradaxa!


Perplexed 2011-07-09 10:53:51 -0500 Report

Its just that Pradaxa has a higher risk of GI bleed than coumadin does. I've not had a problem w/GI bleeds (knock, Knock, KNOCK) but many crohnies do so …

HeartHawk 2011-07-10 08:28:21 -0500 Report


Ahhh, "lo tengo ahora" (I get it now)! Just practicing my Spanish while in Spain. "La practica hace al maestro (Practice makes perfect - or literally - Practice makes the master). Just like healthcare!

It is so cool to be able to have this discussion anywhere in the world. The wonders of modern technology!