Re: Coumadin level VERY high - help!!!

Jane wrote:
My husband takes Coumadin. He's taken it for almost 10 years. His
INR levels have always been pretty consistent - between 2.1 and 3.0.

He had his level tested today and it's 4.9! I have at least some idea
why. He used to have Carnation Instant Breakfast every morning but
was told to stop about two weeks ago because it contained too much
potassium. Well it also has about 20 units of Vit. K. I knew that
would make a difference, but had no idea what a huge difference. I
wanted him to have his blood tested sooner but he refused until today.

I've been trying to think of what else might be doing this. He
started Lasix two weeks ago. He stopped eating oranges and drinking
orange juice also because of the potassium. He used to eat a few
small tomatoes almost daily - also stopped. Any chance any of these
are culprits. I just cannot think of what else it might be.

Anyway - doctor said no Coumadin today or tomorrow. Then regular dose
next day, and following day another INR check. I am also giving him
brocolli tonight and probably tomorrow.

My question is - how long does the Coumadin stay in the system? I
realize how dangerous a 4.9 reading is. The doctor is gone for the
day and it's Friday afternoon so I can't ask him. I wasn't here when
he called. My husband was so upset that he didn't think to ask any

The Life Extension Foundation ( had an article some time ago about taking vitamin K in addition to Coumadin and adjusting the Coumadin to the vitamin K dosage. Variability of INR caused by dietary choice will then have only a very small effect. Lack of vitamin K accelerates cardiovascular disease so taking vitamin K and a large dose of cumadin seems like the sensible choice. Cutting potassium doesn't seem all that wise either. Find the article and take it to the doctor for review.


Pramesh Rutaji

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