Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston
Cardiologists located in Houston, TX & Cypress, TX
Coumadin® or warfarin is a medication that prevents harmful blood clots from forming or growing larger. When taking Coumadin, you need to have blood work done on a regular basis to monitor the effectiveness of the medication. The experienced cardiologists at the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston, with offices in Houston and North Cypress, Texas, offer Coumadin/warfarin checks. Call the office closest to you or book an appointment online if you need weekly Coumadin/warfarin checks.
Coumadin/ Warfarin Checks Q & A
What is Coumadin/warfarin?
Coumadin (warfarin) is a prescription medication that prevents the formation of harmful blood clots.
In most cases, blood clots are beneficial and prevent or stop bleeding. However, when blood clots form in your blood vessels, they may lead to serious cardiac conditions such as:
- Heart attack
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Pulmonary embolism
Coumadin decreases your body’s ability to create blood clots by blocking the formation of vitamin K-dependent blood clotting factors. When prescribed Coumadin/warfarin, you may have to take the medication for the rest of your life.
You may refer to Coumadin as a blood-thinner. However, the anticoagulant doesn’t thin your blood. It slows down your blood’s ability to form a blood clot, which may cause excessive bleeding if you have a cut or wound.
Why do I need Coumadin/warfarin checks?
The goal of Coumadin/warfarin treatment is to decrease your blood’s clotting tendency, not prevent blood clotting completely. You need Coumadin/warfarin checks to monitor your blood clotting abilities.
Getting too much or too little Coumadin or warfarin may lead to medication complications such as excessive bleeding or the formation of harmful blood clots.
Your weekly Coumadin/warfarin checks at the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston monitor your blood clotting abilities to make sure you’re getting the right dose.
What happens during Coumadin/warfarin checks?
Your Coumadin/warfarin check is a blood test. Your provider draws a sample of blood from your arm and measures your:
Prothrombin time (PT)
PT (pro time test) measures how long it takes your blood to clot.
International normalized ratio (INR)
Your PT is reported as an INR, which is the standardized way of expressing the PT value. The INR ensures that your PT results are consistent no matter what lab you use to conduct your Coumadin/warfarin checks.
The Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston determines the frequency of your Coumadin/warfarin checks. Some patients only need checks once a month, while others need checks twice a week.
Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston performs Coumadin/warfarin for any patients that must take the anticoagulant for the rest of their life and need weekly checks for monitoring.
To learn more about Coumadin/warfarin checks at the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston, call the office nearest you or request an appointment online today.