In the United States, 2.6 million people suffer from atrial fibrillation (abbreviated as either AF or Afib) each year. For Afib patients, anticoagulation therapy is an important part of their treatment regimen and is usually prescribed to prevent thromboembolic stroke, a result of mismanaged coagulation. Typically, an anticoagulant is prescribed to prevent the following health issues which result from a clot in the veins or lungs:

  • Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

Unfortunately, there are 900,000 cases of DVT documented annually in the United States. Further, these cases result in direct and indirect costs that range from $13-27 billion each year.

Using Warfarin for Atrial Fibrillation

One of the medications often used for anticoagulation therapy is warfarin. Over 30 million prescriptions are written for warfarin annually in the US. In fact, for Medicare patients with Afib, more than 2/3 use warfarin.

For patients on warfarin, an International Normalized Ratio (INR) between 2.0 and 3.0 is considered within the desired range. Further, to derive the maximum benefit from warfarin therapy, a patient’s time within the desired therapeutic range (abbreviated TTR) must exceed 65%. Sadly, two-thirds of patients currently on warfarin have a TTR of only 54% which triggers:

  • a 3-fold increased risk for stroke
  • a 2-fold increased risk for major bleeding

To minimize the risks as well as maintain the desired therapeutic range, Afib patients on warfarin should measure Prothrombin Time (PT)/INR on a regular schedule, at least once per week. A superior option for enabling frequent, reliable measurement is the Coag-Sense® PT2 Monitoring System. Click here for more details about the Coag-Sense® PT2 Meter.

Use of an anticoagulation medication like warfarin helps prevent Afib patients from developing more serious health issues such as DVT, PE, or VTE.