Hi all

I am 56 years old and have been on warfarin now for 16 months. I am expecting to be on it the rest of my life. My INR has kept quite stable in that time until recently when I was put on a course of antibiotics which upset it all. I went from a INR test every ten weeks to a test every week. I find it difficult to get to the doctors during surgery hours so this has been a bit of a problem. I have in mind to buy a Coaguchek XS self testing machine so I can do this at home and email the result to the surgery. Has anyone had experience of these machines and have you come across any problems with home testing.

Thanks David

18 Replies

  • it's excellent- no problems at all and great to be able to check when needed

  • Some CCGs will support this and supply strips on NHS whilst others may be more reticent.


  • Thanks for your replies. I don't know if my GP will support me on this or not, or if I can get the test strips on prescription. I have got to have a INR done next Wednesday so I shall run it by them then. David

  • If you haven't done so already, there is one thing to consider before such an investment. Have you thought about NOACs (warfarin replacements)? If you were to progress to these modern, hassle-free anticoagulants, the machine would be redundant. Just a thought.

  • My CCG has just ruled that self testers can only have 12 strike a year. No contingency for a course of antibiotics or anything. Ridiculous. So back to weekly visits.

  • Strips not strikes!

  • It seems to be a case of where you are on there approval etc

    I have been on Warfarin since 1992 all taken from the vein. One of the blood takers tells me my skin is like a Rino now ;)

    Be Well

  • Has anyone else been listening to the Health Vision programmes this week, 1.45pm on radio 4? Seems obvious that many in the NHS are not! The Vision Is for patients to be able to self test and treat, one adequately trained. The comment was that some will resist the change as it alters the power dynamic, right on the button.

  • How true. I see it a lot in other areas of business where people can refuse to share knowledge and data because that's what they perceive gives them the power. It's part of our paternalistic past.

  • I have a machine i am retired and are away a lot .so just take my machine to keep a check i wouldnt be without it . It works perfect for me easy to use.

  • My Coaguchek XS is the best investment I have ever made. Using it I keep in the right INR range 99% of the time, halving my risk of stroke and making the warfarin/Coaguchek combination better than anything else including the NOACs.

    You should be able to get the strips through your local surgery. Testing takes about 2 minutes p.w. and I have no dietary restrictions. The only problem I've had is the "Error 5" when I didn't get a big enough drop of blood, but I've now got the hang of that and just make sure my hands are warm before I do a test.

  • I have the coaguchek as I travel a lot's very simple to work and the hospital do a check twice a make sure it stays in sinc ...a blood test and the machin on the same day

  • Get one they are great...and I like to be in charge...the hospital do a check twice a year...blood and machine on the same make sure machine is in sinc ....

  • Hi David,

    Like MarkS, the CoaguChek is the best health related investment I have made. I got the original CoaguChek in 2001 and that was a bit of a hassle since the test strips had to be kept in the fridge. I was travelling a lot at the time, for work, so always had to make sure I had access to a fridge. When the CoaguChek XS came available I upgraded to it and the test strips do not require to be refridgerated. After some disagreement with my anticoagulent service I now self manage.

    Some antibiotics will upset your INR so self testing allows you to keep a check on it. If I am prescribed any drugs that are likely to upset my INR my pharmacist tells me and advises me to keep an eye on it.

    My GP is quite happy to provide the strips on 'script. NHS guidlines say the are available but from a lot of the posts here on HU not all GP's seem to be willing to prescribe them.

    All the best with self testing - go for it


  • Thankyou all for your good advice. If I can get the support from my GP I think I will go for it and buy a machine. Taking the stress out of asking for time off work can only be a good thing besides the benefits of keeping a better check on my INR.

    I'll let you know how I get on.

    Thanks David

  • Probably too late for David but just in case for others. When I did the research buying direct from Roche was considerably cheaper than Amazon especially as Roche will supply it without charging VAT if you certify that you are on long term Warfarin (if that is the case).

  • Thanks PeterWh, I did get in touch with my GP via the INR nurse with the intention of buying a CoaguChek. He messaged back not to buy one as he thought I would be a good candidate for one of the new generation anticoagulate drugs. ( As AnticoagulateNow said ) I have an appointment next week with GP and INR nurse. I'll let you all know how I get on.


  • OK and good luck!!! I was on Apixaban but had to change to Warfarin in order to have an ablation (and likely to be stuck on that for some time as will probably be having a second ablation).

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