INR stands for the International Normalized Ratio. The INR is the blood test used to follow the effectiveness of the blood thinner warfarin (brand name Coumadin®). Warfarin is used to thin the blood in the treatment of many conditions, such as stroke prevention, blood clots in the legs (DVT) or lungs (pulmonary embolus), or to maintain the normal function of mechanical heart valves. The INR target for most (but not all) conditions is 2.0 to 3.0.
The INR blood test must be taken regularly, according to a personalized schedule that is designed just for you by your doctor. Once the INR result is received, the warfarin dose will be adjusted according to the INR level. The higher the INR value, the thinner the blood.
For instance, if the INR value is 1.5 but the target is 2.0 to 3.0, then the blood is not adequately thin and the warfarin dose will need to be increased.
Alternatively, if the INR value is 4.5 but the target is 2.0 to 3.0, then the blood is excessively thin and the warfarin dose will need to be reduced.
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