If you have been prescribed the blood thinner warfarin, you understand the importance of regular INR blood tests to ensure its effectiveness, and to reduce both blood clotting and bleeding risks. While INR levels can be monitored effectively and safely through traditional in-office testing, INR testing can also be done at home with a finger stick machine. While self-testing may not be suitable for every person, there are several benefits to testing your INR yourself, including the flexibility to check your INR from home, or to not have to go to a medical office for testing.
Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, many people who take the blood thinner warfarin may be looking for options to test their INR without having to leave their home. If you would like to determine if self-testing is right for you, it’s important to work together with your healthcare provider to come up with the best plan to monitor your INR and adjust your warfarin dose, as needed. You will also need to obtain a prescription for the home testing device itself, learn how to use the machine, and learn how to report your results to your healthcare provider.
It is important to note that it can take some time to get set up with a system for at-home monitoring, but you can read more about the process in detail on NBCA’s website here: INR Self-Testing
In addition, you can talk to your healthcare provider about other options that might be helpful for you during the COVID-19 pandemic, which, according to the Anticoagulation Forum, might include: getting your INR checked when fewer people will be in the office or waiting room, getting your INR checked at the lab versus the doctor’s office or clinic, scheduling your INR tests to minimize the number of times you need to make a trip to the doctor’s office or lab. You might also talk to with your doctor about alternate treatments that do not require regular INR monitoring, which you can learn more about here: Blood Clot Treatment. Your physician is your best resource for information about your care, so please follow up with your healthcare providers about all of your questions or concerns.
NBCA does not supply or sell INR self-testing machines or testing strips. If you are looking into self testing, or having trouble obtaining a self-testing device, you can:
- Ask your doctor for assistance, you will need a prescription for INR self-testing or the self-testing device
- Call your health insurance company, or Medicare, for assistance
- Reach out to one or more of the manufactures of INR self-testing machines for further assistance. Some of these manufacturers include:
To read more about the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here.