Warfarin Dosage Adjustment: A Nurse’s Guide for Patients with DVT

Effective anticoagulation therapy is vital for patients with a history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) to prevent further clot formation. Warfarin (commonly known as Coumadin) is a widely prescribed medication for this purpose. In this article, we will discuss how a nurse can guide a 66-year-old patient with DVT on adjusting their Warfarin (Coumadin) tablet intake to achieve a new daily dosage of 7.5 mg, considering the patient has 5 mg tablets.

The Role of Warfarin in DVT Management

Deep vein thrombosis is a condition characterized by the formation of blood clots in deep veins, typically in the legs. These clots can be dangerous, as they may dislodge and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. Warfarin is an anticoagulant medication that helps prevent the formation of blood clots by inhibiting the clotting factors in the blood.

To ensure that Warfarin therapy is effective, it is essential for patients to receive the correct dosage, as determined by their healthcare provider based on their international normalized ratio (INR) results.

Adjusting Warfarin Dosage

In this scenario, the healthcare provider has instructed the patient to adjust their daily Warfarin dosage to 7.5 mg, likely based on the patient’s INR results, which reflect their blood’s clotting tendency. The nurse’s role is to guide the patient on the correct number of 5 mg tablets they should take daily to achieve the new prescribed dosage.

Step 1: Calculate the Change in Dosage

To increase the daily dosage from the current 5 mg to 7.5 mg, you’ll need to determine the change in dosage.

Change in dosage = New dosage – Current dosage

Change in dosage = 7.5 mg – 5 mg

Change in dosage = 2.5 mg

Step 2: Identify the 5 mg Tablets Required

Now that you know the change in dosage is 2.5 mg, you need to determine how many 5 mg tablets are needed to achieve this change. To do this, divide the change in dosage by the strength of each tablet.

Tablets required = Change in dosage / Tablet strength

Tablets required = 2.5 mg / 5 mg/tablet

Tablets required = 0.5 tablets

Step 3: Round the Dosage

The calculated dosage required is 0.5 tablets. However, since the patient cannot take half a tablet, the nurse should instruct the patient to round up to the nearest whole tablet.

Step 4: Final Dosage Instruction

The final dosage instruction for the patient is to take one 5 mg tablet (a whole tablet) and one-half of another 5 mg tablet daily to achieve the new prescribed daily dosage of 7.5 mg.

Patient Education and Safety

Ensuring that the patient understands the rationale for dosage adjustment and how to take the medication correctly is essential. The nurse should educate the patient on the importance of taking Warfarin consistently at the same time each day and discuss any potential side effects or precautions.

Additionally, patients on Warfarin therapy must be aware of the importance of regular INR monitoring and follow-up appointments with their healthcare provider to make further dosage adjustments as needed.


Adjusting Warfarin (Coumadin) dosage to achieve a new prescribed daily dosage is a critical aspect of managing conditions like deep vein thrombosis. In this case, a 66-year-old patient with DVT can achieve the new daily dosage of 7.5 mg by taking one whole 5 mg tablet and one-half of another 5 mg tablet daily. Effective patient education and clear instructions from the nurse are vital to ensure the patient’s safety and adherence to the prescribed treatment plan, ultimately reducing the risk of blood clot formation.


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