How long does it stay in the system?
A quick question: how long after you quit taking warfarin does it hang around in your system? Per my cardiologist, I am to stop taking it on May 17, when my three months after valve repair are up. I have a dental appointment to schedule (just basic cleaning & check) and would prefer to set it for a date after I am completely free of the stuff.
Am glad to report: warfarin has not been too much of a hassle for me. My range was supposed to be between 2.0 and 3.0. After the first couple of weeks, when I was running in the high 1.0's, I got into range and it stayed there -- it was 2.6 at my last blood draw. Also the interval between the draws was in the process of being spaced out -- the last one was a three week interval from the one before. The next one would be a whole month after that. But by the date set for it (May 18) I'll have just come off the warfarin so I don't think I have to go to the lab.
I have been taking 5 mg every day, except Friday when I take 7.25 mg, and eating normally for me -- not worrying about vitamin K and drinking the occasional glass of red wine.
I'm quite happy not to have to be on anti-coagulants permanently. One less thing to be concerned about, and it makes travel easier not to have to figure out where labs are or pack a self-check monitor -- but I am glad to have had the experience and to know that, if I ever have to, I could deal with it.
One thing that made it easier was that I was dealing with a clinic rather than a doctor's office -- my HMO, Kaiser Permanente, has its own Anti-Coagulation Clinic. It was very efficient -- I could go to any of the labs in the Kaiser system, test in the a.m. on the day set, and they had the results by the p.m. of the same day. If it was not in range they called me right away to discuss dosage and if it was in range I got a letter the next day advising me of the results of the test, what dosage I should continue on, and the date of the next blood draw.
You should be completely free of it within 5 days.
Ross, thank you for the information.