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INR Testing at GR Pharmacy

The anticoagulant (INR) monitoring service at GR Pharmacy offers improved convenience and accessibility to testing for patients. We use a finger prick blood test in one of our two private consultation rooms within the pharmacy, at convenient, allocated appointment times, along with easy access to information, support and advice. We also prescribe the warfarin for the patients in our care.

The aim of warfarin monitoring is to stabilise the International Normalised Ratio (INR), which is a measure of the timing of the clotting of the blood, within set limits to maximise treatment outcomes, while at the same time preventing serious side effects.

Warfarin is used in the management of a number of clinical conditions including atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat), prevention and treatment of venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism. It is a very safe and effective medicine, but requires close monitoring to ensure that the correct dose being taken and to reduce the risk of side effects such as bleeding. This is particularly important as warfarin interacts with a number of other medicines, and even foods, therefore the INR can change, hence the need for regular monitoring.

Anticoagulation monitoring at GR Pharmacy involves determining the INR using a finger prick blood sample. This is placed on the Coaguchek XS PLUS testing meter to produce the INR. From the result, the pharmacist makes recommendations about the dose that the patient needs to take, in line with the British Committee for Standards in Haematology Guidelines. Doctors and local hospitals have access to these results via a secure online system and referral to them can be made if appropriate.

The pharmacist will provide support and advice to the patient on the use of their anticoagulant therapy, such as diet, alcohol consumption, lifestyle and drug interactions.

INR testing is provided in accordance with the NPSA guidance on the use of oral anticoagulants, and the local CCG ensures that the pharmacy meets standards in terms of training and knowledge, hygiene, privacy, clinical waste disposal, safety with blood collection and equipment used.

The pharmacy maintains appropriate records to ensure effective ongoing service delivery and audit. Records are confidential and stored securely on line with local NHS record retention policies.