Anyone on Warfarin (Coumadin)!

Posted , 8 users are following.

So Ive been on Eliquis since the middle of June by using samples from my Cardiologist while awaiting approval from my insurance company to approve the drug. Well they denied it and told me I have to try Warfarin (Coumadin) and fail on it first and then they would approve one of the other drugs. My concern is A. I ABSOLUTELY do not want to be on Warfarin, its not a safe drug and B. Due to my job it would be impossible for me to do weekly blood tests. Has anyone had success on this drug? Any loop holes I could jump through to get my insurance to approve the Eliquis??

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi. If your cardiologist calls the tune how can your insurance deny your Eliquis ???  If you are in UK I would be very tempted to call one of those medical mismanagement lawyers you see on TV.  How can insurers decide what drugs a person must use, absolute rubbish.
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  • Posted

    we are obviously looking at cost here as compared to the 3 alternatives Warfarin is cheap as chips, I am on warfarin that I must admit took some getting used to it is no less safe than the other 3 and does have an antidote only 1 of the others does (Pradaxa) I tried all ways to get taken off the warfarin for 1 of the other 3 but we are all different and react to meds in a different way and after getting several opinions have opted to stay on it, I agree that in the beigining when they are trying to get your INR correct it is pain keep going for regular bloods but I am much more stable now and go less often.

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    • Posted

      Yes my insurance is opting for the cheaper med and eliquis is 384 a month. When u go for your blood work, do you go Mon-Fri or do you go on a Sat. Do you have to visit the Dr. Right after the exam for the results or do they just call u with them?
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    • Posted

      Hi Jaylee,

      I can only tell you what happens here in the UK, once they have stablised your INR some people only go about 4 times a year except if you change medication ie you need antibiotices for an infection as they can interact with the warfarin,

      You get INR forms that gives you your INR result how much meds to take each day and when to go for your next bloods.

      here we can either go to Phlebotomy at the hospital where you dont need app. or to GP surgery, the results are usually sent to you the next day with all the information as above. unless your INR is to high then you usually get a call that has only happened to me once. here there is also an INR blood machine available so you can keep an eye on things yourself, bit like a blood sugar monitor. they only advise and allow that once you are stable.

      As far as the meds are concerned I have it from a very reliable scource that they have started to give Rivaroxaban (xarelto) here in UK, as although the warfarin is cheap the cost of the indirect spend ie regular bloods printing off INR forms and postage puts the cost up (someone has obviously done their homework) because regular bloods are not done on the other alternatives.

      I opted to stay on warfarin after much research and second opinions I am the type af person who usually has another question for whatever answer I have been given and it wasn't until I realised because of other under lying health problems and the fact I am like a bean pole only 47Kg I made my decision.

      Hope that helps in some small way.


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  • Posted

    I was switched to Warfarin prior to my ablation back inApril a really disliked the inconvenience of it all; INR levels were up and down like a yo-yo, blood tests every couple of days, having to watch out for foods that were high in vitamin K.

    To be be fair though, I was only on it for 3 weeks and so probably didn't give it a 'fair go'. My understanding is that INR levels can bounce around a lot when you first start taking Warfarin(as Linda said), but most people report that their INR levels stabilise after a while and therefore don't need testing as regularly.

    Fortunately here in Australia, the Government has set up the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme). All medications that get approved for the PBS are 'capped' and the consumer pays a maximum of $37(the government/taxpayers pick up the rest of the tab). 

    Fortunately Eliquis is listed on the PBS, so it only costs me $37 per box, which is why I switched back to it immediately after my ablation.

    our health system here in Australia is not perfect (which is why I choose to pay and have private health cover), but it does seem relatively good after reading about some of the experiences people on this forum are having in other parts of the world.

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    • Posted

      I didn't take any days off for blood tests. Just organised my appointments with my GP. Sometimes I was the first patient of the day, sometimes the last, sometimes it was Saturday mornings.

      Naturally everybody's work hours and GP availability is different, but blood tests didn't intrude too much on my work life (I'm a primary school teacher), but it was just an extra hassle that I figured I could do without.


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  • Posted

    Hi jaylee,

    I have been on warfarin since July 2013. I have no insurance coverage and cannot afford the more advanced drugs. Like all drugs warfarin is poisonous but it is an affordable drug to prevent Afib patients from suffering a stroke.

    So I am taking warfarin and do I suffer side effects?

    Yes initially I noted slight traces (more like tiny red dots on my bath towel) of bleeding but most of the time I am all right. My total weekly dosage is 18.5 mg and my target INR is 2 - 3. The initial 6 months I visited the INR clinic 9 times. The second year 4 times. The third year 7 iimes (including 2 visits when I installed my heart pacer). That makes it 5 times in 2015.

    I have a boring routine when it comes to food. Most mornings I eat oat bran to manage my cholesterol level. For lunch and dinner I usually eat out at Indian curry houses.

    I do not drink because I cannot tolerate alcohol.

    I do not mind my visits to the INR clinic. In fact I find it reassuring that I am able to manage my INR reasonably well. Usually the reading is within the target range.

    I hope my experience is helpful.

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  • Posted

    My wife has been on warfarin for over a year now, and still cannot get her IR levels right ( taking 8mg a day still) but to date it has not given any problems that we are aware of !!
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  • Posted

    G'day jaylee,

    Yes, I'm on Warfarin - went on it as soon as AF was diagnosed (in Jan 2010). I'm one of those fortunates who take to Warfarin like a duck to water. I have had to come off it twice for a short period, once for a CT scan and the other time for a partial knee replacement. No problem.

    I self test with a Coaguchek handheld monitor whioch gives me my INR readings. Once in every ten tests my GP surgery and I do a joint test to ensure that my machine is 'in tune' and is producing the same INR result (+ or - 0.1 error) and occasionally I use a medical algorithm to adjust my own dose slightly. The latest example of this was because I had been prescribed an antibiotic to deal with a particularly difficult chest infection and the antibiotic worked against the Warfarin. But hey ho, soon back in range again.

    I often fly to Australia, take my monitor with me self test when I'm away - no problems, yeah - I just lead a normal life.

    If I were forced to take one of these new anticoagulants I would simply refuse - I don't think they are safe and as far as I am aware only one has an approved antidote available in the event of a bleed etc.

    So, if you bought you're own testing machine like mine, regular testing can be done at home. I do, I then phone my GP's surgery, give them the reading and a few hours later they phone me back or email me the result, the new doseage and the next test date. I'm currently on 70 day tests. As I said, I live a perfectly normal life,I'm 72 - I still work driving a bus and have no problems.

    good luck.


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