INR (Blood Warfarin Monitoring)

If you are taking warfarin you need to have a blood test to make sure you are taking the correct dose. If your dose is too high, you may have bleeding problems. If it is too low, it may not have the desired effect. The blood test checks how long it takes for your blood to clot and is called an INR test.

The INR blood test is usually done by a laboratory, however now there is a new test available that means it can be measured using a small sample of blood from a finger prick. Accredited pharmacies are now able to do the new finger-prick INR test.

How do I get the INR test done at this pharmacy?

Your GP refers you to the service.

1. When your test is due, you go to the pharmacy instead of the laboratory for the bloodtest.

2. The blood test uses a finger-prick sample.

3. The test results are available immediately, and the pharmacist can tell you straight away the correct dose of warfarin to take. A small calendar is printed off for you to take away showing you what dose of warfarin to take each day.

4. The GP is informed immediately of the INR result, and is able to make any changes to the recommended dose, if needed.

5. Your GP still has the overall responsibility for your care.

What are the benefits?

- The test is less complicated. Compared to a test at a laboratory, the test uses a finger prick sample of blood.

- The new test is convenient and could provide better control. You receive immediate advice about the next dose and date of the next test. It has been shown that this method of testing is helpful in making sure that test results are within the required range.

- The service helps you to keep a close eye on your own treatment. If you provide an e-mail address you can be sent automatic e-mail reminders when the next test is due, and can see your own results via the internet.

Do I need to stay on the service?

You can choose to leave the service at any time, and return to care under your GP.

Next steps

If you are interested in this service talk to your GP or practice nurse. Your pharmacist can also give you a form to take to your GP.