Travel advice when taking Warfarin

When you go away for a break or a holiday, please remember to take your yellow anticoagulant therapy record booklet, your recent pink appointment sheet and an adequate supply of warfarin tablets. Also, please let the clinic know your date of leaving and how long you will be away.




Long-distance travel

When travelling long distances by car, train, coach or plane, avoid sitting still for long periods of time, which can cause Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT). To counter this, drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids, and move around as often as possible, as long as it safe to do so. You can also a set of simple exercises, which will help pump blood around the body effectively, described below:
  1. If you are wearing tight shoes, remove them first. Bend your feet upwards.
  2. Spread your toes, count to three slowly while you keep them like that.
  3. Point your feet downwards and curl your toes under you. Keep them like that for another count of three.
Repeat these exercises every half-hour on a long journey.

Travelling by car

If you are a passenger, perform the above exercises. You should also ask the driver to stop once an hour so that you can take a brief walk. If this is not possible, such as when you are on the motorways, do the exercises regularly.

Travelling by train

You should stretch your legs regularly whilst in your seat and also walking to other carriages at least twice an hour. Do the exercises described above.

Travelling by coach

On journeys lasting more than an hour, make sure you stand up occasionally. If it is possible to walk in the aisle, do so. If the coach stops for brief periods, take advantage of these breaks and go for a short walk. While sitting, do the do the exercises described above.

Travelling by plane

If it is necessary for you to take a long flight, ask your doctor to help you obtain some compression stockings. Wear these just before, during and for 3 days after the flight. Make sure you drink plenty of non-alcoholic drinks, perform the above exercises and move around the aircraft cabin as much as possible, when safe to do so. Also remember the effects of alcohol are increased by cabin pressurisation on an aircraft.
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