5 reasons why measuring PT/INR values at home can be more convenient than having your blood drawn in a clinic or lab
Measuring anytime, anywhere can provide you with more freedom and time.
If you are taking a vitamin K antagonist, such as warfarin, and measure your own PT/INR values, you can do it anytime. You can stop filling up your calendar with appointments to get your blood drawn and start filling it up with things you want to do.
You can be more involved in your treatment, giving you the confidence and the reassurance to maintain control of your warfarin therapy.
If you are worried about whether you are in therapeutic range or not, you can measure your own PT/INR values and be informed. Results are immediately reported to your doctor who can make any changes to treatment—without waiting days for lab results.
Self-testing can make it easier to adapt your warfarin therapy so it is right for YOU and potentially reduce the risk of complications such as clots or bleedings.
Scientific studies have shown that patients who measure their own PT/INR values spend more time in therapeutic range compared with usual care where your blood is drawn and sent to the lab. More time in therapeutic range can mean less chance for stroke or related complications.1–3
You can take control of your own PT/INR testing and be more involved in your own treatment.
Patients who regularly measure their own PT/INR values with the support of their doctor are likely to have better control of their anticoagulation medicine1–3 than if they get tested in a clinic or lab.
Most patients can learn to test at home.
Studies have shown that about three-quarters of suitable patients can be taught how to correctly measure their own PT/INR values.4,5
- Sharma, P., Scotland, G., Cruickshank, M., Tassie, E., Fraser, C., Burton, C. et al. (2015). The clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of point-of-care tests (CoaguChek system, INRatio2 PT/INR monitor and ProTime Microcoagulation system) for the self-monitoring of the coagulation status of people receiving long-term vitamin K antagonist therapy, compared with standard UK practice: systematic review and economic evaluation. Health Technol Assess 19, 1–172.
- Bloomfield, H. E., Krause, A., Greer, N., Taylor, B. C., MacDonald, R., Rutks, I. et al. (2011). Meta-analysis: effect of patient self-testing and self-management of long-term anticoagulation on major clinical outcomes. Ann Intern Med 154, 472–482.
- Heneghan, C. J., Garcia-Alamino, J. M., Spencer, E. A., Ward, A. M., Perera, R., Bankhead, C. et al. (2016). Self-monitoring and self-management of oral anticoagulation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 7, CD003839.
- Connock, M., Stevens, C., Fry-Smith, A., Jowett, S., Fitzmaurice, D., Moore, D. et al. (2007). Clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different models of managing long-term oral anticoagulation therapy: a systematic review and economic modelling. Health Technol Assess 11, iii–iv, ix–66.
- Dolor, R. J., Ruybalid, R. L., Uyeda, L., Edson, R. G., Phibbs, C., Vertrees, J. E. et al. (2010). An evaluation of patient self-testing competency of prothrombin time for managing anticoagulation: pre-randomization results of VA Cooperative Study #481–The Home INR Study (THINRS). J Thromb Thrombolysis 30, 263–275.