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Br J Haematol. 2000 Jun;109(3):537-9.

A prospective randomized study to determine the optimal dose of intravenous vitamin K in reversal of over-warfarinization.

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Department of Haematology, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, UK.


The optimal management of asymptomatic overanticoagulated patients remains unknown. We measured international normalized ratio (INR), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) and prothrombin fragment 1 + 2 (F1 + 2) over 7 d in 24 asymptomatic or mildly haemorrhagic patients on warfarin with prolonged INR of > 7.0 who were randomized to receive 0.5 mg, 1 mg or 2 mg intravenous vitamin K. Of six severely overanticoagulated patients (INR > 9.5 with APTT ratio > 2), five failed to achieve an INR < or = 4.0 on day 1, irrespective of vitamin K dose given. In the remaining 18 cases, an optimal response (INR 2-4 at day 1) was observed in 67% of those receiving 0.5 mg vitamin K, but only in 33% of those receiving 1 or 2 mg, the majority of whom developed an INR < 2.0. Our results support an optimal dose of 0.5 mg i.v. vitamin K for most overanticoagulated patients, with possibly a repeat dose in the small group of severely overanticoagulated patients.

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