Offering Coumadin Monitoring in Williamsport, PA
Coumadin, also known by its generic name warfarin, is an anticoagulant drug. It is often called a blood thinner, because it slows down the time it takes for your blood to clot. Coumadin is prescribed to prevent the formation of blood clots inside your body. You might take Coumadin if you have:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Mitral stenosis
- Deep vein thrombosis
- A mechanical heart valve
- Artificial joints
- A blood disorder that causes blood clotting
Regular monitoring and analysis tells your healthcare provider how quickly your blood is clotting and if you are receiving the right Coumadin dose. Speak with a cardiologist at UPMC Susquehanna if you’d like to learn more about Coumadin monitoring. For the cardiology services you need, Find a Provider near you.
Why Coumadin Monitoring & Analysis Is Performed
Your blood’s normal clotting function works to prevent blood loss from an injury. If you take too high a dose of Coumadin, it will take longer for your blood to clot, putting you at risk for a hemorrhage or extended bleeding. A dose that is too low may allow your blood to clot inside your body, which is extremely dangerous. These types of internal blood clots can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Blood clotting times can change unexpectedly. This may happen if you take:
- Prescription medications that alter how Coumadin works
- Over-the-counter drugs, like aspirin, which also have anti-coagulant properties
- Herbal supplements or natural remedies
- Vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting
What to Expect with Coumadin Monitoring at UPMC Susquehanna
Coumadin monitoring and analysis is done with a blood test, called the INR (international normalized ratio). You may also hear the terms PT and PTT, for prothrombin time and partial thromboplastin time. How often people are tested varies. Some people may be tested once a month, while others just starting on Coumadin may be tested once or twice a week.
Your doctor will tell you how often you should be tested. Once your doctor receives your blood test results, you may be told to adjust your next doses of Coumadin until your next blood test.
Why Coumadin Monitoring & Analysis Is Important
Regular monitoring of your blood while you take Coumadin is vital in order to maintain your blood clotting time within safe limits.
UPMC Susquehanna's Heart & Vascular Institute provides comprehensive care to manage cardiovascular conditions with Coumadin monitoring in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.