Heart Disease Expert Forum
Why coumadin at night?
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Why coumadin at night?


  Due to atrial fibrillation, I have been taking Coumadin for 3 years.
  When I filled a new prescription for the Coumadin, the directions said
  take at bedtime.  Does the time a person takes this medication make a difference
  in how it works?  I see the Dr. again in 10 days but am curious now.  Thanks.
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Dear Lisa,
There are two reasons why coumadin is almost always prescribed at night with the
first more important than the second.  Since the physician needs to know the protime
(PT) from the lab (after the technician draws the blood, the lab performs the test
of your protime) and the physician doesn't get called with the results until the late
morning at the earliest, s/he can not inform the patient of any possible changes
(such as 'do not take the coumadin today')until the afternoon at best.  Therefore,
the patient who takes his coumadin at night has not yet taken the days dose when
he/she is called by the physician with a change in medication.   Thus, you avoid
waiting until the next day to change the dosage.  This is often a very important
issue, although not so much in those who have been on a stable dose for a long time.
The second reason that patients are told to take the medication at night is that
it is important to take the medication at the same time of the day and not to miss
dosages.  Good Luck.
Information provided in the heart forum is intended for general medical informational
purposes only, actual diagnosis and treatment can only be made by your physicians/





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