Understanding coagulation monitoring

Anticoagulation treatment.

Why are anticoagulants prescribed?

The human body has a complex mechanism called coagulation that causes blood to clot if a wound occurs. Under normal circumstances this is desirable; it allows the body to heal itself. Yet in some clinical conditions, coagulation can cause unwanted blood clots that may lead to complications and can be life threatening.

Oral anticoagulants, such as warfarin and phenprocoumon, are used to prevent blood clots and are often referred to as "blood thinners".

Anticoagulants are commonly prescribed for the following conditions:1-3

  • Stroke
  • Atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)
  • Mechanical heart valves
  • Venous thromboembolism
  • Thrombophilia (tendency to cause blood clots)
  • Heart attack

Monitoring your therapy.

What are INR values and why are they important?

When prescribed anticoagulation therapy, such as the use of a vitamin K antagonist (VKA), taking the correct dose is crucial for effective treatment. The correct dose is established by measuring how long it takes your blood to clot. This is called the International Normalized Ratio (INR).4

Understanding INR values

  • An INR of 1 is normal in healthy individuals who are not taking anticoagulants5
  • An INR of 2 means that your blood takes twice as long to clot as normal5
  • The therapeutic INR range for patients on anticogulation therapy can vary depending on the indication VKAs are prescribed for. However, the target range is commonly between 2.0-3.05-7
  • If the INR is too low, there is an increased risk of blood clots that can lead to stroke8,9
  • If the INR is too high, there is an increased risk of bleeding8

Keeping your INR in range is key. Know your value.

Regular INR monitoring is important to help determine if your dose needs to be adjusted. Your doctor will provide you with a target INR range. For people taking VKAs, which include warfarin, the target INR typically ranges from 2 to 3, but may be different depending on the patient and his or her condition.5-7

Vitamin K antagonists at a glance

Available vitamin K antagonists (VKAs)

Warfarin, phenprocoumon and acenocoumarol

How it's administered

Oral tablet

Considerations

  • VKAs belong to the group of most frequently used drugs worldwide10
  • Must be regularly monitored10
  • May be prescribed for a period of weeks, months or years

CoaguChek® INRange
More control. More time in therapeutic range.

Roche's latest, connected self-testing meter that gives you the freedom to test your INR at home, on the go, or wherever you happen to be.

Learn more

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Abbreviations
INR: International Normalized Ratio