Starting March 19th, NorthBay Anticoagulation will begin offering drive-through Coumadin appointments out of NorthBay VacaValley Hospital, between the Emergency Ambulance Entrance and Receiving Dock (entrance off of Ulatis Drive). Appointment hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
NorthBay Healthcare's Anticoagulation Service is available to support patients taking Warfarin (brand name Coumadin ®) and manage any side effects of the drug. Although Warfarin is a life-saving medication that prevents blood clots and stroke, adverse reactions to it can occur if not managed closely.
NorthBay's service helps to reduce possible side effects and assist patients in receiving the maximum health benefits from their prescriptions.
What Does the Coumadin Clinic Offer?
Participants in the Coumadin Clinic meet at least once every four weeks with a specially trained clinical pharmacist who evaluates the medication dosage and appropriately adjusts the level if necessary. Dosage adjustments are made right away, minimizing the possibility of complications and side effects.
Please note that admission into the Coumadin Clinic requires a physician referral and regular appointments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Warfarin/Coumadin® is a "narrow therapeutic index" drug. This means that the medication level in your body must be maintained as close as possible to optimum levels. Too much Warfarin/Coumadin® and you are at risk for a hemorrhage (massive internal bleeding); too little and you are at risk for a stroke.
To ensure your safety, Warfarin/Coumadin® therapy needs to be monitored at least every 4 weeks. The risks of forgetting your testing, even one time, are great. If your dosage of Warfarin/Coumadin® ever falls out of the therapeutic range, you are at risk of hemorrhage or stroke. By making appointments to have your blood checked, your protimes are tested at the safest intervals possible.
An appointment also gives you the opportunity to consult with specialists in Warfarin/Coumadin® therapy. You can discuss changes in your dosage with the pharmacist, ask questions and get answers on the spot. This minimizes the time you are at risk if your results are out of the therapeutic range. An appointment also eliminates the possibility of long lines at a busy laboratory.
Pharmacists complete special training to manage Warfarin/Coumadin® therapy. A supervising physician, usually a cardiologist, is available during your visit if a question or issue arises that is best managed by a physician. The pharmacist can answer your questions about Warfarin/Coumadin®, other drugs you are taking and how they may interact. Your personal physician will continue to manage your care, and the Anticoagulation Program staff will keep him or her up-to-date on your condition.