Guide Medicinal Product

Anticoagulant: The monitoring of anticoagulants

Taking a treatment that is not anticoagulant requires special survival. Indeed, the problem of AVK treatments is that they must be specifically adapted to each patient . Before starting your treatment, your doctor will have you make a first check by taking a blood test measuring your INR.

It should be noted that any factor (genetics, medication, transient infection, diarrhea, fever, etc.) can influence the action of VKA, leading to a change in the INR.

This is why it is essential to take frequent blood tests at the beginning of treatment, then at least once a month afterwards. And this in the same laboratory of analyzes if possible because the results, sensitive, can vary from one laboratory to another.

In short, taking AVK anticoagulant therapy requires special monitoring.

Beware of bleeding

By dint of wanting to prevent the formation of clots or to want to eliminate them, it happens, in 3 to 4% of the cases, that the dreaded opposite effect (the haemorrhage) occurs.

Our advices :

  • You must tell your doctor if you are bleeding from the nose, gums, if you have red eyes, a small wound that continues to bleed or bruises;
  • For women, the same reflex is needed if you find your rules abnormally abundant. No sign should be overlooked because some hemorrhages can be very serious like those that occur inside the skull;
  • If you have high blood pressure, you must have it checked and treated accordingly because it also increases the risk of bleeding.

And if you have forgotten your treatment?
Take your medicine at fixed times. If you have forgotten once, you should report it to your doctor who will adjust the next dose accordingly.

Be careful: never take a double dose to make up for an oversight!

What to do in case of pregnancy?

If you are one of the few thousand women on VKA who are old enough to have children, you need to take a contraceptive. Indeed, it should be known that anticoagulants pose a risk of malformation to the embryo at the beginning of pregnancy and they are also dangerous at the end of pregnancy.

If however you wish to have a child, you must be followed by specialists . Taking your AVK medications will be replaced for a while by injectable anticoagulants that will not put the fetus at risk.
Follow-up should be supervised by specialists and the choice of delivery (vaginal or caesarean section) will be decided on a case by case basis in order to avoid any risk of bleeding.

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