A warfarin induction regimen for out-patient anticoagulation in patients with atrial fibrillation

Tait, R.C. and Sefcick, A. (1998) A warfarin induction regimen for out-patient anticoagulation in patients with atrial fibrillation. British Journal of Haematology, 101(3), pp. 450-454. (doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2141.1998.00716.x) (PMID:9633885)

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Currently available protocols for induction of warfarin anticoagulation employ initial doses of 10 mg and are best suited to in‐patient use. However, with the increasing number of elderly patients with atrial fibrillation requiring anticoagulation, there is a need for a less intense regimen which could be used for out‐patients. We have established such a regimen and report on its prospective evaluation in 37 patients referred for out‐patient initiation of warfarin, and a non‐randomized comparison with 37 in‐patients, with similar diagnoses, commenced on a traditional warfarin protocol. After exclusion of five patients on amiodarone, all of whom experienced supratherapeutic International Normalized Ratio (INR) results, the new out‐patient regimen, employing an initial 5 mg dose, resulted in a lower maximum INR during the first 21 d therapy (median 2.9 v 4.0; P = 0.0001) and fewer INRs > 4.5 (2/36 v 9/33) compared to the traditional 10 mg regimen. Time to reach stable anticoagulation was similar with each regimen; however, the 5 mg regimen gave a more accurate prediction of maintenance dose (correlation coefficient for predicted versus actual maintenance dose, r = 0.985). In comparison to a traditional 10 mg protocol, the proposed 5 mg warfarin induction regimen proved both safer and more reliable for initiation of prophylactic anticoagulation in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tait, Dr Robert
Authors: Tait, R.C., and Sefcick, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health
Journal Name:British Journal of Haematology
Publisher:Blackwell Science
ISSN (Online):1365-2141

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