The National Resource Center on Lupus offers tips for preparing for doctor visits. Start by knowing your medical history (keeping a journal of your symptoms and when they first appeared can help). Be prepared to answer specific questions about your symptoms. Know the names of all the medicines you take (not just lupus medication) and bring copies of medical records from other physicians, including imaging test results. Ask for a summary of your doctor’s orders and take notes. Ask questions and bring up any problems or concerns you have.
Because blood clots can be a life-threatening symptom of lupus, these drugs thin the blood to prevent it from clotting too easily. Anticoagulant medications include low-dose aspirin and prescription heparin (Calciparine®, Liquaemin®) and warfarin (Coumadin®). In particular, if you are being treated with warfarin, you must be monitored by your doctor to be sure your blood does not become too thin. Anticoagulant therapy may be lifelong in some people with lupus. Very recent research shows that people’s genetic makeup may influence how they respond to warfarin; specifically, that people with variations in two genes may need lower warfarin doses due to differences in how the body breaks down (metabolizes) warfarin and regulates the ability of warfarin to prevent blood from clotting. Therefore the dosage and administration of warfarin must be individualized for each person