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How does exercise affect INR levels

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  • How does exercise affect INR levels

    Question for Coumadin users!
    I have an St. Jude's aorta valve and I am on coumadin.
    I have been on a very regimented exercise program, working out 6 days a week (3 days toning, 3 days aerobics).
    I was wondering if anyone know how exercise affects INR levels?
    Thank you

  • #2
    Hi Harry, welcome!
    Lots of people here are on coumadin. It is definitely a learning experience. Everyone is different, and there are few rules that last for long.
    I had my surgery last November, and have gradually increased my activity since then. So also my coumadin dosage has been gradually increasing. As a record of my increasing dosage, I have 3mg tablets, 4mg, 5mg, and at my next cardiologist visit, I'll be asking for a prescription for 6mg tablets.
    The more I exercise, the faster my body metabolizes the coumadin, and so the more I need to stay at the same INR. I'm fairly certain that that does not work the same for everyone, but it does for me.
    Imlay City, Michigan
    AVR 11-9-01, St. Jude valve
    DOB 5-18-55


    • #3
      Hi Harry,

      Jim has it right, exercise will increase your metabolism, and as a result will process the Coumadin at a faster rate. The best thing to due is try to establish a regular exercise program, and watch your INR until your Coumadin is adjusted accordingly to establish stabilization. Remember consistency is the key in what ever you do when on Coumadin

      I workout 5 days a week, and at times when I travel and cannot get to a gym, I do notice that my INR will be higher than usual as a result of not working out, and breaking the routine.

      Happu motoring,
      3/23/00 Ascending Aortic Dissection-St. Judes mech valve+graft, Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN
      9/16/10 ON-X Aortic Valve/Root Replacment, Cleveland Clinic,OH, Dr Pettersson
      9/16/10 Aortic Stent and Frozen Elephant Trunk Procedure, Cleveland Clinic,OH, Dr. Roselli


      • #4
        Hello Harry,

        You didn't mention how often your INR is tested.

        Since you are concerned about possible variation, it would seem that once a week might be appropriate, at least until you feel you are stable. HOME TESTING is the most convenient way to do this. Ask your Cardiologist if he will give you an Rx for a home test unit (either Coaguchek or ProTime). SOME insurance companies cover the cost of the unit and supplies, some don't. I believe we will see more and more coming around as Doctors line up in favor of home testing for better regulation of INR. Medicare has approved coverage and a few BCBS states have joined in. It will take some time for most to come on board.