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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 
 
 

Therapeutic monitoring of warfarin: the appropriate response marker.

Warfarin is a 4-hydroxycoumarin anticoagulant drug used for the prevention and management of thromboembolic and vascular diseases. It acts through the inhibition of the vitamin K-dependent transcarboxylation reactions that convert precursors of clotting factors into their active form. Appropriate use of warfarin requires patient monitoring and dosage adjustments, to ensure its safety and efficacy. The aim of this work was to clarify the relationship between traditional (prothrombin time, usually expressed as the international normalized ratio; INR) and alternative (clotting factors II and X) warfarin response markers to establish their usefulness for therapeutic drug monitoring. Seventy adult outpatients, aged between 31 and 86 years old, were involved in the study. All subjects received warfarin in a monotherapy regimen and had been on a stable dosing schedule for at least two weeks to assure a steady-state condition. A total of 81 prothrombin times (expressed as INR), and factor II and factor X activity were simultaneously determined. Eleven patients presented repeated measurements at different time periods under the same dosing regimen. The results obtained from regression and cluster analysis showed a close relationship between factors II and X (r = 0.73), a weak correlation between INR and both factor II (r = -0.35) and factor X (r = -0.36), and a very slight dependency between warfarin and the response markers used. In addition, it seems that independent of the selected response marker, in long-term warfarin therapy, reproducible responses can be obtained over time if a steady-state condition is achieved. The coefficients of variation for factors II and X were greater (35.44 and 37.93%, respectively) than INR (14.50%), indicating that INR is a more precise measure than either factor II or factor X. In conclusion, INR appears to be the most appropriate warfarin response marker for therapeutic drug monitoring due to its universality, objectivity as a direct physiological effect measurement, and the available information regarding appropriate endpoints. However, when INR values are not in accordance with patient response therapy, factor II and factor X should be considered as an alternative to optimize warfarin therapy.[1]

References

  1. Therapeutic monitoring of warfarin: the appropriate response marker. Costa, I.M., Soares, P.J., Afonso, M., Ratado, P., Lanaot, J.M., Falcão, A.C. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. (2000) [Pubmed]
 
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