INR self testing

I am new here and am currently looking at buying a self test machine for INR. I travel quite a lot and often have problems finding somewhere to get an INR done while away from home. Can anyone recommend one? Do they travel OK and can they be taken on planes as hand baggage?

I am also interested to hear from anyone who, like me, have had a vagotomy and later developed AF with accompanying "gastric disturbances".

8 Replies

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  • Hi Graham,

    I am in Britain and have used my Roche Coaguchek XS handheld portable device for some 6 years plus. Suggest you go to the Roche Diagnostic website wherever you are in the world. When I travel, it comes with me and I always take it to Australia with me for the very reasons you mention. However, when I first bought it I was driving buses and therefore working shift work making it virtually impossible to get to my GP for INR blood tests.

    You will need a doctors surgery to support you in prescribing (on the NHS) test strips otherwise they can get expensive buying them yourself. If you have Health Insurance see if you can claim anything at all.

    Roche used to (and maybe still do) have an interest free purchase plan too. I think they cost around £300.

    You will also need support from your Doctors surgery in feeding your INR result into software which will then produce the next test date and the next doseage of Warfarin. Your data is then retained on the surgery INR Clinic/Nurse software.

    My surgery has me in annually and we do an INR test of my blood on my device and theirs at the same time - just to make sure calibration of my machine is within acceptable limits. My calibration result is + or - 0.1 of the reading on their device. Often it is the same.

    My warfarin is pretty stable and I am often tested at 8 weeks, however, if it chucks a wobbly the INR nurse at my surgery sharply makes it every 2 weeks.

    Can't think of anything else, I'm sure there is, ask any questions you may have. might prod my grey matter !

    I have not had a vagotomy so can't comment. My AF is triggered by a dysfunctional vagal nerve responding to food mostly and so dieting has been a way of life for many years. As a result of hitting the right food intake plan I have not had an AF event since April 2015.

    John

  • Hi John,

    Thanks for your reply. I have been having ongoing discussions with my doctors about whether my vagotomy has had any affect on my AF. They all say "that's an interesting question but I don't know". The problem is that this procedure has not been done for years so there are not many patients presenting with post vagotomy AF. I would like to hear from anyone out there who has had a vagotomy and how it has affected them

  • I've travelled a lot with my Coaguchek - a brilliant machine. I have it in hand luggage. I take warfarin both in hand luggage and hold luggage (if I have any).

  • I asked at my doctors and they won't support me with a prescription for the strips so for me it's a no go. Shame.

  • I too used coaguchek and found it invaluable both at home and travelling. I have now changed to apixaban and this is really great and no testing involved - except annual/biannual kidney function tests. Have you considered changing over to one of the new anticoagulants?

  • Thanks for the reply. Yes I have looked at alternatives but for other medical reasons I have to stay on warfarin.

  • I had no real problems with warfarin. Ate plenty of greens most days and the machine was great. Have you checked if you can get the strips on prescription. They are fairly expensive if you have to buy them but not prohibitively so.

    Also, I still went to the INR clinic every 3 months to make sure all ok.

    Good luck 🍀

  • I've had a CoaugChek XS tester for about 4 years - I would never take Warfarin again without being able to self test. Mine included a zippered case with enough room to hold the tester, vial of strips, lancets & pen, and a supply of vitamin K. These testers are pricey though, if money is a big issue you can find them used. Knowing the quality of the tester, I would be okay with a used unit, but that's a personal decision.

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