Factor Five Leiden


Usually with your first venous thrombosis you will be placed on an anticoagulant for 3-6 months. Often this will be Warfarin, which is an oral route, a tablet that comes in multiple mg. amounts. Frequently you may also be started on a low molecular weight heparin at the same time until your bleeding time has reached its therapeutic level. The low molecular weight heparin's are a subcutaneous injection, given just below the skin, in the abdominal area. This will be a fixed dose for a short period of time. If you continue to have further clotting events then you could be placed on Warfarin for the rest of your life.

Warfarin under the microscope. During the initial period following your diagnosis of a venous thrombosis and starting on anticoagulant therapy you will have frequent blood testing. This is a very important period because you need to reach your acceptable therapeutic range which will normally be an INR between 2 - 3. The frequencies of your testing will be based on your Health Care Providers judgment. They will draw a small amount of blood from you that will be used to check your PT or Prothrombin time. This test is used to check the amount of time that it takes for your blood to clot. The PT is than recorded in a standardized way called an INR or International Normalized Ratio. Your anticoagulant or Warfarin dose will be based on your INR results. Usually people that are not on anticoagulant therapy will have an INR of about 1.

There are several other factors or reasons for a person to be on anticoagulant therapy besides FVL. Some of those reasons would include cerebral vascular accidents/ strokes, myocardial infarction/ heart attacks, prosthetic heart valve, pulmonary embolism or some of the other blood clotting disorders such as Protein C deficiency, Protein S deficiency, Prothrombin 20210 defect and Antithrombin deficiency.

Probably some of the most important things to remember with your anticoagulant therapy is to always take your medication as prescribed by your Health Care Provider. Take the right dose, at the right time , generally this will be after 5:oo or so, this way you will all day to have your INR checked base on your last dose. If you forget a dose and it is close to time that your next dose is due than do not take both doses at the same time. It would be better to call and see what your Doctor advises you to do. Also always get your INR drawn when it is due. You need to be sure that you stay in your safety zone which is generally 2 - 3 or as decided by your Health Care Provider. [CONTINUED]