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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2005 Mar;59(3):281-90.

Dosing strategy for enoxaparin in patients with renal impairment presenting with acute coronary syndromes.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Australia.



Phase III clinical studies have confirmed that enoxaparin is superior to standard heparin in reducing the rate of recurrent ischaemic events in patients with non-ST elevation acute coronary syndromes. Patients with moderate to severe renal impairment were, however, excluded from these studies. Due to the hydrophilic disposition of enoxaparin, accumulation is likely in patients with renal dysfunction, thereby increasing the risk of haemorrhagic complications if standard weight adjusted treatment doses are used. Arbitrary dose reduction has been reported to increase the risk of ischaemic events, presumably due to inadequate enoxaparin concentrations.


The aims of this study were to investigate the influence of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) on the pharmacokinetics of subcutaneously administered enoxaparin, and to develop a practical dosing algorithm in renal impairment that can easily be used at the bedside.


Thirty-eight patients, median age 78 years (range 44-87), mean GFR 32 ml min(-1) (range 16-117) and mean weight 69 kg (range 32-95), presenting with acute coronary syndrome were recruited into the study. Approximately 10 anti-Xa concentrations were taken per patient over their period of therapy. A population pharmacokinetic model was developed using non linear mixed effects modelling techniques, utilizing the software NONMEM. Stochastic simulations were performed to identify the most suitable dosing regimen.


Three hundred and thirteen anti-Xa concentrations were collected. A two compartment, first order input model was identified as the best baseline model. Covariates found to improve model fitting were GFR as a linear function on clearance (CL) and weight as a linear function on the central volume compartment (Vc). The fraction of drug excreted unchanged (Fu) was estimated at 71%. CL and Vc from the final covariate model were estimated as; CL (l h(-1)) = 0.681 per 4.8 l hr(-1) (GFR) + 0.229 Vc (l) = 5.22 per 80 kg (total body weight)


Clearance of enoxaparin was predictably related to GFR estimated using the Cockroft and Gault equation, with ideal body weight used as the size descriptor. According to our model no dosage adjustment from the standard 1.0 mg kg(-1) 12 hourly is required for the first 48 h of treatment. Maintenance doses thereafter can be calculated using standard proportional adjustments based on Fu equal to 0.71.

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