The effect of recombinant factor VIIa (NovoSeven™) in healthy volunteers receiving acenocoumarol to an International Normalized Ratio above 2.0

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Vitamin K antagonists are most commonly used in long-term thrombosis prophylaxis and the use in patients with cardiovascular disease seems to be increasing. By interfering with the normal hemostatic mechanism, an increased risk of bleeding will arise and administration of human plasma or prothrombin complex concentrates may be necessary. It can be difficult to normalize hemostasis using plasma and prothrombin complex concentrates, because these may be associated with thromboembolic side-effects. The level of factor VII, one of the vitamin-K-dependent coagulation factors, decreases during oral anticoagulant therapy and the administration of recombinant factor Vila normalizes the prolonged prothrombin time in warfarin-treated rats. After administration of acenocoumarol (International Normalized Ratio > 2), decreased levels of factor X and factor IX (19–46%), protein C (2–20%) and factor VII (4–17%) were found in 28 healthy volunteers. After one dose of recombinant factor Vila (5, 10, 20, 40, 80, 120, 160, 240, or 320 μg/kg) the International Normalized Ratio and prothrombin time normalized, which may imply an effect on bleeding in individuals receiving oral anticoagulant therapy. The lowest dose (5μg/kg) normalized the International Normalized Ratio for 12 h and doses > 120 μg/kg normalized it for 24 h. Fragment 1+2 stayed within its normal range in all dose groups, indicating that no systemic coagulation occurred.

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