All good questions. I don't have answers but will be interested to hear comments because I am also on Warfarin. What about antibiotics? I understand they interfere with the Warfarin, but I don't know how -- thinner or thicker blood?
My INR was 1.4 yesterday, first time since I've been on the meds it was so low. I can't call in to drs office until Monday, but wonder if I should take an extra 1/2 pill or whole pill? I believe it may be the margarine I use because it has one of the oils in it that is high in Vitamin K. I take my own INR at home with a Phillips meter. Any advice?
As you know, I can't give advice, but I think I can say what I do. When I come in below the 2.0 level, even with a 1.8, my cardiologist tells me to take an extra 1/2 warfarin does for one or even two nights. My regular is 5 mg at bedtime. Then, given my history of being stable they do not ask me for a followup check until my regular every 4 weeks. I still go to the hospital for blood tests.
Now for me I can also say when I am over, say 3.2, I don't have any bleeding problems that I can detect, thus my fear of going over 3.0 is minimal. I believe people with a mechanical valve are normally in the 3.0+ range.
Jerry -- thanks for the input. I take 5 mg. tablets -- 2 four days a week and 3 three days a week. I have been pretty stable. I may take an extra 1/2 tablet tonight. I was pretty amazed that it went down so low in a week. Medicare pays 80% and I thought my medi-gap policy would pick up the rest, but I'm being billed for the 20% , which amounts to $30.00 and I won't be able to pay that weekly, altho I like keeping it in tight control. And Phillips, the company that makes the meter, says checking weekly reduces stroke risk by 35%. But then, they're making some money in the deal=) I was 3.4 once and that was, looking back, because I took some Pepto Bismal, not knowing that it thins the blood. Maybe I am too uptight about it. I do get REALLY nervous thinking about a bleed.