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J Pharm Pract. 2010 Jun;23(3):217-25. doi: 10.1177/0897190010362168. Epub 2010 Apr 13.

Controversies of anticoagulation reversal in life-threatening bleeds.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pharmacy, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA, USA. stephen.rolfe@umassmemorial.org

Abstract

Therapeutic anticoagulation with heparins, warfarin, and anti-Xa inhibitors carry an inherent risk of complications due to their multifaceted pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties as well as narrow therapeutic ranges. When an anticoagulated patient presents with a major or life-threatening bleed, immediate and effective therapy may be necessary to reverse the effects of the anticoagulant, minimize blood loss, and reduce patient morbidity and mortality. Optimal agents and strategies for anticoagulant reversal are limited, particularly for newer anticoagulants. The literature describing such strategies available to reverse the effects of anticoagulants in the setting of a bleed is limited, and therefore many controversies exist. Thus, as new anticoagulants become available, without a specific agent for reversal, the concerns and controversies related to this topic must be addressed. The purpose of this review is to discuss the management of major or life-threatening bleeds by addressing the following controversies: (1) the use of recombinant factor VIIa for rapid reversal of warfarin in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage, (2) the role of prothrombin complex concentrate in emergent warfarin reversal, and (3) the optimal approach to reverse newer anticoagulants such as low molecular weight heparins, fondaparinux, and direct thrombin inhibitors.

PMID:
21507817
DOI:
10.1177/0897190010362168
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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