Log in
British Heart Foundation
8,083 members4,992 posts

Warfarin

What are people view on warfarin?as I have to go on it soon after my op!do people have a lot of problems with it?

16 Replies
oldestnewest

Hi Lyndon, I was prescribed Warfarin after collapsing in the street due to AF, I am now waiting for a date to have a mitral valve replacement so will be on lifelong Warfarin.

I have had no problems apart from my hair becoming much thinner. I avoid cranberry juice and NSAIDs but apart from that I eat as normal, the main thing is to keep to a steady diet and don't suddenly start to eat a large amount of something that you don't normally eat.

I self test my INR at home so don't have to travel to the hospital which makes a big difference. Hope this has been useful, any more questions just let me know.

Best wishes

1 like
Reply

Thanks how do u get one of the home kits?

Reply

The anti coagulant clinic at my local hospital are running a service that provides the testing machine, lancets and test strips. It varies at different hospital trusts, some people buy their own machine then get the rest on prescription.

Reply

My husband was advised to go on to a stronger blood thinning drugs inc warfarin, before he had time to decide what one to go for he had a massive nose bleed .. three days in hospital with it.. so now the heart failure nurse is not sure what she should advise. He has AF now so they wanted a stronger blood thinner for him. I will follow your replies as its a question we have been asking ourselves

Reply

My 23 year old grandaughter has been taking Warfarin since age 13. The Childrens hospital encouraged self monitoring, which she does. Makes life simpler. The PCT agreed to fund the test strips and stabbers but won't fund the machine (looks very like the ones diabetics use).

We have recently had to buy a new one. At present they are £400. You could ask your PCT to fund it, you may have more luck than us.

She has had no side effects from the Warfarin. You have to avoid dark green leafy vegetables, cabbage, broccoli, spinach etc. Because the have high levels of VitK.

There are other anticoagulant now, but Warfarin is more controllable.

Reply

It's not so much avoiding spinach but being consistent about it. As far as I know anyway

1 like
Reply

Hi, just wanted to say that I have been told that it is fine to eat green veg such as spinach and cabbage. The problem would be if your granddaughter suddenly started to eat large amounts of them, a consistent diet is all that is needed.

Best wishes

Reply

Both my husband and I are on Warfarin. As others are saying a relatively consistent diet is all that is necessary to stay stable. We do not have a self test machine, but go along to the local health centre for a quick and informal appointment. The frequency of the appointments depends on how stable the INR is. It varies from once a week to once every 6 weeks.

The advantage of going to the health centre for the tests is that there is a nurse there who knows you, you can mention any worries too small to justify a GP appointment. AS I have mentioned before on this forum, when I had a mystery infection, the INR nurse recognised the potential for endocarditis and within a matter of hours I was in hospital at the start of a 3 month dose of antibiotics, initially intravenously. The infection never settled on my new artificial valve and I don't therefore need it to be replaced again. I see that as all thanks to Carrie, the INR nurse. If not for her, I would have had to wait for a GP appointment, without knowing the risk of delay.

1 like
Reply

Thanks.is it a tissue valve?

Reply

No, it is an artificial valve. I believe that is why I am so at risk of endocarditis.

Reply

Hi Lyndon,

For me taking warfarin is really not a problem. Initially the hospital pharmacist came to see me to discuss all the dos and dont's and seemed a lot to take in at first but you just get on with it. The things you can't take like cranberry and grapefruit are not difficult to avoid. You can still take a healthy amount of green veg but not a huge plateful. You can take alcohol but in moderation.You will be given an INR target to aim for , it can take a bit of time for this to settle . I guess it's all about balance and moderation. I have not investigated home testing as I like the contact with the health centre but might think again in the future. You do bruise a bit easier and cuts take longer to stop bleeding. I find taking the warfarin not a problem now that my INR settles down. Best wishes Lyndon. ,

Reply

Thanks how long did it take to settle?

Reply

Hi Lyndon,

Reading on this site and talking to the health centre staff some people settle quickly and some take longer.I was one who took longer. My surgery was end of May but due to my endocarditis I was on IV antibiotics until mid July. My INR was settling down then the target was changed by the surgeons at out patients so we had a further period of adjustment. I settled by November and am now on 6 week blood tests.. In fact must close as am off for a test this am, a nice 20min walk there in the drizzle !

Reply

Hi Lyndon

I went on warfarin following my AVR last November and haven’t had any problems. My INR levels settled very quickly. I work full time and thankfully my clinic supports home testing. We bought the machine, lancets and testing strips as my GP doesn’t prescribe any of it, but we’d rather fork out the money than have the inconvenience of attending the clinics and the resultant time off work.

As others have said, you do have to watch your diet but I was told nothing is off limits, just a case of not eating too much of anything high in vit.K. My diet is not brilliant, but I’m coping okay, the only thing I really miss is liquorice and although the nurse said I could have a couple of pieces occasionally, my willpower isn’t that good and I’d end up eating the lot 😜

I was dreading going on warfarin but have been pleasantly surprised how easily I have adapted to it.

Wendy

1 like
Reply

Thanks.what do you work has?and how long before you went back?

Reply

I’m on it for past two year as I have mechanical valve replaced , if I knew how difficult it would be to have a stable UNR I would gone for a bovine valve with the hope I wouldn’t need Warfarin, I self test at home as mine still very fragile and there is no alternative medication I can use .

I have lost lots of weight👌 and have lots of loose skin . my cardiologist said I can’t gave plastic surgery (tummy tuck) it’s too dangerous 😭 on Warfarin , ok i know it sounds vain and I’m very thankful to be alive and healthy after my heart surgery and cardiac bypass , but I dislike tucking my loose skin I’m my pants lol x

Reply

You may also like...