Is long haul travel ok when taking sintrom (european anticoagulation treatment)?

My husband had a pulmonary thrombosis and takes Sintrom. His INR levels hardly vary and the DV clots in his leg have disappeared. We want to go to Oz in Jan 2013 for a month. Are we better to travel direct (24 hr on a plane) or take several shorter haul trips say 6 hrs at a time and then stay on land 1 or 2 days? I don't want the trip to make him ill in any way.

9 Replies

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  • Lucky you, any room in your suitcase. Back to your question but would like to know why your husband is taking Sintrom as it's normally issued in Spain.

    Like you husband, I've had two acute PE's and am thinking of going to Aussie. Like you I'm considering the risk and am thinking short trips. Have you been to Aussie before?

    I do not know anything about Sintrom but do you need to have your INR tested?

    Yours

    Pedro

  • Pedro - he uses Sintrom as we live in Spain. See the reply from Tipper - seems to be ok for long haul travel so I shall start looking for flights. Not been to Oz before but I have a cousin near Sydney to visit.

    Regards

    Lorraine

  • What is and what does Sintrom do? Is it an anticoagulant and hence the INR issue?

    I have just been from UK to NZ and back taking warfarin and self testing my INR for over 3 months. INR was fine.

    As to flight times, my understanding is that as I am on Warfarin then blood clots are less of an issue so choose whatever flights you like. We stopped a Dubai and Brisbane on the way and Sydneyon the return. Longest leg was Sydney to London with a feww hours walkabout in Dubai airport. We did howevr fly Business Class because being over 6' I can't stand being folded into economy seats which must be bad for the circulation!

  • Thanks Tipper.

    Sintrom is an anticoagulant and is the Spanish (and French as far as I know) equivalent of Warfarin in the UK. We live in Spain but will start the journey to Australia from the UK. How does self-testing work?

  • Hi HardyLA

    Thanks for your update about Sintrom, which is was what I thought. I agree with Tipper that the secret to a safe journey is to monitor your INR and stay safely within your therapeutic range. How do you intend to test your INR once in Aussie presuming you had an INR test before you leave Spain. As Tipper said, you must stay within your therapeutic time range and he achieves this by self-testing. It's very simple, you insert a test strip into a monitor, pick your finger and insert a tiny drop of blood onto the test strip and within 60 seconds you have your INR result. It's so easy and simple. If you send me your email address to peveshome@btinternet.com, I will send you some information about self-testing. It is possible that I could loan you a monitor while on holiday. No doubt you already understand that your INR reading is subject to many different things I.e. food, alcohol, pain relieve drugs and travelling I.e. stress. Self-testing overcomes this.

  • Firemansam has it spot on!

    I use a Roche Coaguchek XS that I bought soon after having to use Warfarin in 2006. The Coaguchek costs me about £400 and I get the test strips on prescription, free now as I turned 60 this year. Before I was paying for all my drugs so had a 'Season Ticket' (actually a prepaid card from NHS) that cost around £100/annum.

    Although the Coaguchek seems expensive it has saved me inordinate amounts of time waiting for blood tests and provided far better control of my INR which rarely strays. I also drink as much as is I like, within reason, these days and adjust my warfarin accordingly. I've learnt just how much to reduce my warfarin for a couple of glasses of wine!

    I highly recommend DIY INR monitoring.

  • CoaguChek monitors are on offer at the moment for £299.00.

    Speak to your GP about whether they will prescribe the testing strips.

  • Anyone interested should contact Roche Uk on 01444 256000 or visit coaguchek.co.uk as they may still do free interest credit.

  • Having done several long haul flights to the States and South Africa over the years whilst being on warfarin//sintron?, simple precautions like sitting in an aisle seat to aid access to be able move about easily, keeping hydrated and avoiding any alcohol have worked well for me. I always wear flight socks and follow simple leg and foot stretching exercises during the flight. Prior to any flight I take, I make a conscious effort to be more active for the few days before - either walking or avoiding long stints on the computer. I would also avoid taking any meds or over the counter natural sleep inducing products.

    I am also considering a long haul flight to New Zealand next year and will definitely will be breaking the journey i to ensure I can fully mobilise circulation for a day or so before second stage

    . I am fortunate in that I self test and manage using the Roche Coagchek device and this contributes to being reassured that I can check my INR at any time during the trip inclluding on the flights.

    Wearing any form of medic alert is helpful for crew should you become unwelll and especially if travelling alone.

    If you can go business class - its a bonus. Good luck!

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