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Ann Pharmacother. 2012 Dec;46(12):1617-26. doi: 10.1345/aph.1R497. Epub 2012 Dec 18.

Vitamin K dosing to reverse warfarin based on INR, route of administration, and home warfarin dose in the acute/critical care setting.

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Midwestern College of Pharmacy Glendale, Glendale, AZ, USA.



Vitamin K is commonly used for reversal of anticoagulation of warfarin. However, the optimal dose and route of vitamin K that does not increase the duration of bridging therapy is unknown.


To determine factors influencing the extent and rate of INR reversal with vitamin K in the acute/critical care setting.


This was a chart review of 400 patients who received vitamin K for reversal of warfarin effects between February 2008 and November 2010. Data collected included international normalized ratios (INRs) 12 hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours prior to vitamin K administration; intravenous or oral vitamin K dose; and whether or not fresh frozen plasma (FFP) was administered.


Intravenous vitamin K reduced INR more rapidly than oral vitamin K (5.09, 1.91, 1.54, and 1.41 vs 5.67, 2.90, 2.14, and 1.58) at baseline, 12, 24, and 48 hours, respectively. The dose of vitamin K (p < 0.001), route of administration (p < 0.001), and baseline INR (p < 0.001) influenced subsequent INR values. The INR reduction was similar for intravenous vitamin K doses 2 mg or greater. Home warfarin dose did not affect INR responses to intravenous (p = 0.27) or oral vitamin K (p = 0.98). FFP did not influence INR values at 48 hours. Although longer anticoagulation bridge therapy seemed to be associated with higher vitamin K doses, the incidence (p = 0.63) and duration (p = 0.61) were not significant.


Vitamin K dose, route, and initial INR influence subsequent INR values. INR reduction is similar for intravenous vitamin K doses of 2 mg or greater. Preadministration of FFP does not alter INR values at 48 hours or more after vitamin K administration.

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