Don’t get lost in translation

April, 2016

Here is some food for thought on taking medication while you are away.

For most warfarin users, being able to self-test abroad is a breath of fresh air. So now you have the opportunity to travel the globe, here is some food for thought on taking medication while you are away.

“How do you say ‘warfarin’ in…”

It is one thing navigating a menu in a foreign country, but if you need to talk to someone about your medication, it is important not to get it wrong. These are the words for “warfarin” in:

  • France – “coumadine”
  • Portugal – “varfine”
  • Spain – “aldocumar”
  • Australia and New Zealand – “marevan”
  • India – “warfen”
  • Thailand – “befarin”

Self-testing overseas

So now you have mastered how to say warfarin in another language, let’s talk about the practicalities of self-testing overseas.

Keeping on top of your dosage

You’ll no doubt already have a routine for when you take your medication. But what happens when you cross time zones? It is just a matter of taking your warfarin at the same time as you would at home. For example, if you are travelling to Florida and you would usually take your medication at 4pm GMT – take it in Florida at 11am EST (Eastern Standard Time). This allows you to work around the 5-hour time difference. You might find that setting reminders on your phone is a good way to help you remember when to take your dosage.

It is important to maintain your balance, so we recommend paying a visit to your healthcare professional. They will be able to guide you towards the best possible routine while you’re away. If you accidentally miss a dose, general advice is to not take a double dose at any time. Just keep a note of it in your yellow book and remember to tell your healthcare professional when you return. However, if you need immediate medical help, make sure you have the number for a nearby hospital to hand.

A few things to consider

Before you set off, ask your doctor if any of the vaccines you might need have an impact on warfarin. It is also worth noting that warfarin should be stored out of sunlight and at room temperature. So be sure to store in a safe place when out and about. Remember to also carry extra medication too. This is just in case you need to adjust your dosage while away. After all, no one wants to spend extra money on prescriptions abroad.

Then when it comes to packing, check the rules and regulations of the airline you’re flying with. Most will allow you to travel with capped lancets if you provide a GP’s letter explaining your need for a medical device. You’ll also need to bring your warfarin in its original packaging, within your hand luggage. This is just to avoid confusion with security. It is important to keep your medication and your CoaguChek with you- just in case your hold luggage goes missing.

Last but not least, remember to check where the nearest hospital or available clinic is to where you’re staying. This way, in the unlikely event you need medical attention – you know exactly where to go.

We hope you found this article helpful and hope you have a great trip. If you have any travel tips of your own for other self-testers, why not share them on our Facebook page?

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* T&Cs apply **Interest free Easy Payment Plan – Patient only (maximum 1 individual purchase). Individual patients can benefit from an Easy Payment Plan, spreading the cost interest free over 12 or 24 months.  In these cases the patient will need to make the purchase and a credit check will be required.
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This finance option is available through Roche Diagnostics Limited, Charles Avenue, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9RY. Roche Diagnostics Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Credit is provided by Hitachi Personal Finance, a division of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Prices are correct at time of preparation (November 2014). Prices are correct at time of last update (November 2016). Prices and finance options are subject to change. Finance requires credit checks before approval. *** Test strips are required and are available on prescription (GP’s discretion, prescription charges may apply). Care Line operational hours are Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm. Patients who are chronically sick are eligible for VAT exemption, for more information please refer to HM Revenue and Customs on 0300 200 3700
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