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All About Bleeding

Vitamin K

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Vitamin K is available as oral or intravenous formulations. It is generally recommended only as a stand-alone treatment for asymptomatic patients with elevated INR and no obvious bleeding, but who are considered at risk of bleeding. It is important to reduce the INR within 24 hours in these patients, but without leaving the patient resistant to further warfarin therapy.4, 23-24

Reversal of anticoagulation is initiated within approximately 2–4 hours of intravenous vitamin K administration, and its optimal effects are not achieved until around 24 hours.8, 24

Vitamin K therapy alone is inadequate during an emergency situation in which rapid cessation of bleeding or correction of INR is required. Normalization of INR levels with vitamin K alone takes effect slowly, due to the time needed for synthesis of vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors in the liver. Therefore, experts recommend that intravenous vitamin K is coadministered with coagulation factors for serious bleeding, as the delayed effect of vitamin K on endogenous coagulation factors complements more rapid reversal treatments such as prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC).8, 24

Registration status and indications vary from country to country. Please contact your local company representative and review the respective prescribing information before considering using Vitamin K.

Last Updated: 11/5/2012 12:07 AM
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