We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Travelling whilst on Warfarin (blood thinners)

Hobart, Oklahoma
posts: 15
reviews: 2
Travelling whilst on Warfarin (blood thinners)

Hi,

We are planning to travel to Europe 1 June 2011, however I am on life long Warfarin therapy. Would be interested to hear from persons in Australia who have undertaken long haul flights, how they regulated the need to take 24 hourly, the effect (if any) air travel has on INR levels etc. I am unable to utilise the self monitoring 'gadget' due to having the Lupus anticoagulent, anticaridiolipin antibodies and APS along with several other components of Connective Tissue disease. Any experiences/advice would be greatly appreciated - with thanks - Marie

103 replies to this topic
West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 53,915
reviews: 65
1. Re: Travelling whilst on Warfarin (blood thinners)

Hi Marie;

This is an issue that I would suggest speaking to your Doctor about.

Best Regards

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
posts: 12,312
reviews: 201
2. Re: Travelling whilst on Warfarin (blood thinners)

Hi Marie, It is interesting that I came to this forum today with a similar question. I am making my first international flight after starting warfarin therapy. I also cannot use the self-monitoring device because of Lupus antibodies in my blood.

Currently I am planning to use a medical facility in my destination location that can do pro-time readings several times a week. Based on those readings, my doctor has given me a scale of how much warfarin I should be taking. My largest worry is communicating to the medical facility what information I need and hoping they can do the blood test quickly and effectively.

I would think that your warfarin therapy has been in place long enough that it would not change significantly. My daughter, however, is also on warfarin and has been since March. Her pro-times still reveal irregular results.

My plan, therefore, is to monitor my blood as frequently as I do at home, and to use the scale I have from my doctor to increase or decrease dosage depending on blood levels. I am also going to avoid introducing any additional food items with high concentrations of Vit. K in them while I travel. I am taking lots of Warfarin to use on our trip, which will be about six weeks in length.

If you learn of any other information that could be helpful I would appreciate reading about it as well. Best of luck to you.

Chesterfield...
posts: 233
reviews: 71
3. Re: Travelling whilst on Warfarin (blood thinners)

Hi

I'm on long term Warfarin too here in Europe we use a slightly different terminology what you can Pro-time we call INR ( International Normalised Ratio) Over here in the UK as well as France (all I have knowledge for) there are two ways of monitoring.

Ask your TRAVEL INSURANCE COMPANY who to consult, either a General Practitioner (GP) or a Hospital Haematology Clinic where your blood can be checked. Consult the local Medical Clinic as they can get the test result and prescribe or they can get the test result for you to contact your own Doctor to prescribe -- be aware if THEY prescribe the does they usually want you to purchase the drug from them as well

I am surprised though at the number of checks some of you are having the most we have in the UK is when we are hospital inpatients and that CAN BE daily though is usually weekly as patients of a GP my recent history has been 12 weekly as I have been relatively stable.

When I am in France I get my INR result, telephone my GP in the UK and get the dosage I have to take usually 5-6 mg of Warfarin (Marevan#US ) keeps me stable .

I have undertaken 5-6 hour flights without any problems so far having stayed within Europe and as far as Egypt for vacation in the last 7 years that I have been on the medication and this has only been down to vacation costings not medication.

Essen, Germany
posts: 11,827
reviews: 80
4. Re: Travelling whilst on Warfarin (blood thinners)

All I can add is that most of the "Marcumar" (German term) patients I know have a weekly blood check and sometimes only a fortnight check but this only in the case of a very long application and a very stable and steady adjustment.

I would try to find a praxis or hospital where they can do the blood test themselves and I think this might not be very difficult in your chosen holiday destination:-).

Good luck

patara01

Makati, Philippines
posts: 7
5. Re: Travelling whilst on Warfarin (blood thinners)

I take 2.5 mg of Warfarin (Coumadin) daily to prevent blood clots due to immobility in my lower extremities. My doctor recommended that I wear my anti-embolism stockings whenever I'm on a long flight to prevent thrombosis. Not sure if your condition is similar.

Hobart, Oklahoma
posts: 15
reviews: 2
6. Re: Travelling whilst on Warfarin (blood thinners)

I would like to say thank you to all who have replied - it's great to hear from others on Warfarin. I have since spoken to a lady who travels from Australia on 14 hr. + flights; she is a lucky one whose INR is stable however, has suggested a good medical centre in Amsterdam (I'm waiting on the name) she has recommended where some staff speak a little English - will have it completed there and then be very careful with diet for the remaining month we will be away. Have received conflicting advice re the stockings however think I will wear them. Still haven't been able to obtain insurance however have a more positive letter from specialist and will re-try, Trusting we'll all have a new blood thinner soon which requires no monitoring soon - how wonderful that woulc be!

Edited: 3:04 pm, November 10, 2010
Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
posts: 12,312
reviews: 201
7. Re: Travelling whilst on Warfarin (blood thinners)

I wore the stockings on the flight, and I also got up and walked the full length of the plane and back every two hours. I do not wear the stockings daily because they make lacerations in my legs.

I was simply not able to purchase insurance because of my pre-existing condition, so I am keeping my fingers crossed while we are traveling. It would be very nice if we had a medication that did not demand such careful monitoring.

Chesterfield...
posts: 233
reviews: 71
8. Re: Travelling whilst on Warfarin (blood thinners)

I too use Warfarin for a long term heart condition

and have a surgically resolved (partially ) Spinal condition

with now Pancreatitis on top

but I can still obtain travel insurance over here in the UK BUT if I want to travel to the USA then the cost is astronomical whereas for Europe and North Africa then I can get it annually for less then $500 where as the single trip version for 2 weeks is almost as much for some strange reason

keep using the flight socks for flights and long periods of sedentary travel but not for everyday wear where you are moderately active as the activity negates their need

Peace , Love

and safe travel

Gray

Perth WA
posts: 1
reviews: 8
9. Re: Travelling whilst on Warfarin (blood thinners)

Hi Marie, I'm just wondering if you've managed to get travel insurance to cover your trip and if so who did you use? I need to be on Warfarin for 6 months (due to finish end of June 2011) and I'm trying to find cover to fly to Bali early June and Singapore in October but so far no insurance company will touch me. I'm finding this really frustrating as my GP has signed the form to say no problems are expected. Any ideas? Thanks Sue

Hobart, Oklahoma
posts: 15
reviews: 2
10. Re: Travelling whilst on Warfarin (blood thinners)

Hi again, no I haven't been successful in obtaining travel insurance however, Suresave have invited me to reapply following obtaining another letter from our Spec. I have spoken to another person who actually got the cover which comes with the Gold Visa Card - we re-applied to them however was rejected again so I'm just not sure. We are debating whether to continue trying as we do have cover against accident or anything that is not connected to my disease, warfarin or clotting. Maybe we might just 'wing it' - can't let this awful drug stop us from doing our 'once only' overseas holiday planned and saved for a long time. I will do the stockings, electrolite drinks on the hour, exercises etc. therefore I'm thinking I might be safer than someone not on warfarin - just don't know and I'm not sure the medical profession do either as wonderful as they are.

Reply to: Travelling whilst on Warfarin (blood thinners)
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted