Outpatient Warfarin Initiation
Warfarin is a very individualized medication without a “standard” dose. In order to optimize the therapeutic effect and minimize complications such as bleeding, close monitoring of the degree of anticoagulation is required. During the initial stage of therapy, expect to check the INR frequently. The intervals between tests can be lengthened if the patient maintains stable target-range INR levels on an unchanged warfarin dose.
Check baseline labs:
- CBC with platelets
- Liver panel
Consider beginning with lower initial doses for:
- malnourished or debillitated patients
- patients with heart failure
- hepatic insufficiency
- patients with higher bleeding risk
- concurrent therapy with P450 inhibitors
Estimated Starting Doses
Ideally, INR should be checked within 3-5 days of the first warfarin dose. Steady state is achieved in 10-14 days.
||Consider Decrease 10-20%
||Hold 1-2 days and recheck INR
Other options: http://warfarindosing.org/Source/Home.aspx
After a dosing regimen is established, it is advisable to consolidate to a single strength of warfarin. While not problematic in select patients, use of multiple tablet strengths can lead to confusion, medication errors and adverse events.
Inpatient Warfarin Initiation
UC San Diego Inpatient Warfarin Initiation found through Web Ref provides a detailed daily guide to warfarin dosing.