There have been reports of changes in INR in patients taking warfarin and antibiotics or antifungals, but clinical pharmacokinetic studies have not shown consistent effects of these agents on plasma concentrations of warfarin.
Closely monitor INR when starting or stopping any antibiotic or antifungal in patients taking warfarin.
More frequent INR monitoring should be performed when starting or stopping botanicals.
Few adequate, well-controlled studies evaluating the potential for metabolic and/or pharmacologic interactions between botanicals and warfarin sodium exist. Due to a lack of manufacturing standardization with botanical medicinal preparations, the amount of active ingredients may vary. This could further confound the ability to assess potential interactions and effects on anticoagulation.
Some botanicals may cause bleeding events when taken alone (e.g., garlic and Ginkgo biloba) and may have anticoagulant, antiplatelet, and/or fibrinolytic properties. These effects would be expected to be additive to the anticoagulant effects of warfarin sodium. Conversely, some botanicals may decrease the effects of warfarin sodium (e.g., co-enzyme Q 10 , St. John’s wort, ginseng). Some botanicals and foods can interact with warfarin sodium through CYP450 interactions (e.g., echinacea, grapefruit juice, ginkgo, goldenseal, St. John’s wort).
The amount of vitamin K in food may affect therapy with warfarin sodium. Advise patients taking warfarin sodium to eat a normal, balanced diet maintaining a consistent amount of vitamin K. Patients taking warfarin sodium should avoid drastic changes in dietary habits, such as eating large amounts of green leafy vegetables.
Warfarin sodium is contraindicated in women who are pregnant except in pregnant women with mechanical heart valves, who are at high risk of thromboembolism, and for whom the benefits of warfarin sodium may outweigh the risks [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)] . Warfarin sodium can cause fetal harm. Exposure to warfarin during the first trimester of pregnancy caused a pattern of congenital malformations in about 5% of exposed offspring. Because these data were not collected in adequate and well-controlled studies, this incidence of major birth defects is not an adequate basis for comparison to the estimated incidences in the control group or the U.S. general population and may not reflect the incidences observed in practice. Consider the benefits and risks of warfarin sodium and possible risks to the fetus when prescribing warfarin sodium to a pregnant woman.
Adverse outcomes in pregnancy occur regardless of the health of the mother or the use of medications. The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.
Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions
In humans, warfarin crosses the placenta, and concentrations in fetal plasma approach the maternal values. Exposure to warfarin during the first trimester of pregnancy caused a pattern of congenital malformations in about 5% of exposed offspring. Warfarin embryopathy is characterized by nasal hypoplasia with or without stippled epiphyses (chondrodysplasia punctata) and growth retardation (including low birth weight). Central nervous system and eye abnormalities have also been reported, including dorsal midline dysplasia characterized by agenesis of the corpus callosum, Dandy-Walker malformation, midline cerebellar atrophy, and ventral midline dysplasia characterized by optic atrophy. Mental retardation, blindness, schizencephaly, microcephaly, hydrocephalus, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes have been reported following warfarin exposure during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy [see Contraindications (4)].
Warfarin was not present in human milk from mothers treated with warfarin from a limited published study. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions, including bleeding in a breastfed infant, consider the developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding along with the mother’s clinical need for warfarin sodium and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from warfarin sodium or from the underlying maternal condition before prescribing warfarin sodium to a lactating woman.
Monitor breastfeeding infants for bruising or bleeding.
Based on published data in 15 nursing mothers, warfarin was not detected in human milk. Among the 15 full-term newborns, 6 nursing infants had documented prothrombin times within the expected range. Prothrombin times were not obtained for the other 9 nursing infants. Effects in premature infants have not been evaluated.
Warfarin sodium can cause fetal harm [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].
Verify the pregnancy status of females of reproductive potential prior to initiating warfarin sodium therapy.
Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 1 month after the final dose of warfarin sodium.
Adequate and well-controlled studies with warfarin sodium have not been conducted in any pediatric population, and the optimum dosing, safety, and efficacy in pediatric patients is unknown. Pediatric use of warfarin sodium is based on adult data and recommendations, and available limited pediatric data from observational studies and patient registries. Pediatric patients administered warfarin sodium should avoid any activity or sport that may result in traumatic injury.
The developing hemostatic system in infants and children results in a changing physiology of thrombosis and response to anticoagulants. Dosing of warfarin in the pediatric population varies by patient age, with infants generally having the highest, and adolescents having the lowest milligram per kilogram dose requirements to maintain target INRs. Because of changing warfarin requirements due to age, concomitant medications, diet, and existing medical condition, target INR ranges may be difficult to achieve and maintain in pediatric patients, and more frequent INR determinations are recommended. Bleeding rates varied by patient population and clinical care center in pediatric observational studies and patient registries.
Infants and children receiving vitamin K-supplemented nutrition, including infant formulas, may be resistant to warfarin therapy, while human milk-fed infants may be sensitive to warfarin therapy.
Of the total number of patients receiving warfarin sodium in controlled clinical trials for which data were available for analysis, 1885 patients (24.4%) were 65 years and older, while 185 patients (2.4%) were 75 years and older. No overall differences in effectiveness or safety were observed between these patients and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Patients 60 years or older appear to exhibit greater than expected INR response to the anticoagulant effects of warfarin [ see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Warfarin sodium is contraindicated in any unsupervised patient with senility. Conduct more frequent monitoring for bleeding with administration of warfarin sodium to elderly patients in any situation or with any physical condition where added risk of hemorrhage is present. Consider lower initiation and maintenance doses of warfarin sodium in elderly patients [ see Dosage and Administration (2.2, 2.3)].
Renal clearance is considered to be a minor determinant of anticoagulant response to warfarin. No dosage adjustment is necessary for patients with renal impairment. Instruct patients with renal impairment taking warfarin to monitor their INR more frequently
Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
Hepatic impairment can potentiate the response to warfarin through impaired synthesis of clotting factors and decreased metabolism of warfarin. Conduct more frequent monitoring for bleeding when using warfarin sodium in these patients.
Bleeding (e.g., appearance of blood in stools or urine, hematuria, excessive menstrual bleeding, melena, petechiae, excessive bruising or persistent oozing from superficial injuries, unexplained fall in hemoglobin) is a manifestation of excessive anticoagulation.
The treatment of excessive anticoagulation is based on the level of the INR, the presence or absence of bleeding, and clinical circumstances. Reversal of warfarin sodium anticoagulation may be obtained by discontinuing warfarin sodium therapy and, if necessary, by administration of oral or parenteral vitamin K 1 .
The use of vitamin K 1 reduces response to subsequent warfarin sodium therapy and patients may return to a pretreatment thrombotic status following the rapid reversal of a prolonged INR. Resumption of warfarin sodium administration reverses the effect of vitamin K, and a therapeutic INR can again be obtained by careful dosage adjustment. If rapid re-anticoagulation is indicated, heparin may be preferable for initial therapy.
Prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC), fresh frozen plasma, or activated Factor VII treatment may be considered if the requirement to reverse the effects of warfarin sodium is urgent. A risk of hepatitis and other viral diseases is associated with the use of blood products; PCC and activated Factor VII are also associated with an increased risk of thrombosis. Therefore, these preparations should be used only in exceptional or life-threatening bleeding episodes secondary to warfarin sodium overdosage.
Crystalline warfarin sodium is an anticoagulant that acts by inhibiting vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors. The chemical name of warfarin sodium is 3-(α-acetonylbenzyl)-4-hydroxycoumarin sodium salt, which is a racemic mixture of the R — and S -enantiomers. Crystalline warfarin sodium is an isopropanol clathrate. Its empirical formula is C 19 H 15 NaO 4 , and its structural formula is represented by the following:
Crystalline warfarin sodium occurs as a white, odorless, crystalline powder that is discolored by light. It is very soluble in water, freely soluble in alcohol, and very slightly soluble in chloroform and ether.
Warfarin sodium tablets, USP (Crystalline) for oral use also contain:
All strengths: Hydroxypropyl Cellulose, Lactose Monohydrate, Magnesium Stearate and Pregelatinized Starch
1 mg: D&C Red No. 6 Barium Lake
2 mg: FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake and FD&C Red No. 40 Aluminum Lake
2-1/2 mg: D&C Yellow No. 10 Aluminum Lake and FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake
3 mg: FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, and FD&C Red No. 40 Aluminum Lake
4 mg: FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake
5 mg: FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake
6 mg: FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake and FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake
7-1/2 mg: D&C Yellow No. 10 Aluminum Lake and FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake
10 mg: Dye-free
Warfarin acts by inhibiting the synthesis of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors, which include Factors II, VII, IX, and X, and the anticoagulant proteins C and S. Vitamin K is an essential cofactor for the post ribosomal synthesis of the vitamin K-dependent clotting factors. Vitamin K promotes the biosynthesis of γ-carboxyglutamic acid residues in the proteins that are essential for biological activity. Warfarin is thought to interfere with clotting factor synthesis by inhibition of the C1 subunit of vitamin K epoxide reductase (VKORC1) enzyme complex, thereby reducing the regeneration of vitamin K 1 epoxide [ see Clinical Pharmacology (12.5)].
An anticoagulation effect generally occurs within 24 hours after warfarin administration. However, peak anticoagulant effect may be delayed 72 to 96 hours. The duration of action of a single dose of racemic warfarin is 2 to 5 days. The effects of warfarin sodium may become more pronounced as effects of daily maintenance doses overlap. This is consistent with the half-lives of the affected vitamin K-dependent clotting factors and anticoagulation proteins: Factor II — 60 hours, VII — 4 to 6 hours, IX — 24 hours, X — 48 to 72 hours, and proteins C and S are approximately 8 hours and 30 hours, respectively.
Warfarin sodium is a racemic mixture of the R — and S -enantiomers of warfarin. The S -enantiomer exhibits 2 to 5 times more anticoagulant activity than the R -enantiomer in humans, but generally has a more rapid clearance.
Warfarin is essentially completely absorbed after oral administration, with peak concentration generally attained within the first 4 hours.
Warfarin shows a volume of distribution of about 0.14 L/kg. Approximately 99% of the drug is bound to plasma proteins.
The elimination of warfarin is almost entirely by metabolism. Warfarin is stereoselectively metabolized by hepatic cytochrome P-450 (CYP450) microsomal enzymes to inactive hydroxylated metabolites (predominant route) and by reductases to reduced metabolites (warfarin alcohols) with minimal anticoagulant activity. Identified metabolites of warfarin include dehydrowarfarin, two diastereoisomer alcohols, and 4′-, 6-, 7-, 8-, and 10- hydroxywarfarin. The CYP450 isozymes involved in the metabolism of warfarin include CYP2C9, 2C19, 2C8, 2C18, 1A2, and 3A4. CYP2C9, a polymorphic enzyme, is likely to be the principal form of human liver CYP450 that modulates the in vivo anticoagulant activity of warfarin. Patients with one or more variant CYP2C9 alleles have decreased S-warfarin clearance [ see Clinical Pharmacology (12.5)].
The terminal half-life of warfarin after a single dose is approximately 1 week; however, the effective half-life ranges from 20 to 60 hours, with a mean of about 40 hours. The clearance of R-warfarin is generally half that of S-warfarin, thus as the volumes of distribution are similar, the half-life of R-warfarin is longer than that of S-warfarin. The half-life of R-warfarin ranges from 37 to 89 hours, while that of S-warfarin ranges from 21 to 43 hours. Studies with radiolabeled drug have demonstrated that up to 92% of the orally administered dose is recovered in urine. Very little warfarin is excreted unchanged in urine. Urinary excretion is in the form of metabolites.
Patients 60 years or older appear to exhibit greater than expected INR response to the anticoagulant effects of warfarin. The cause of the increased sensitivity to the anticoagulant effects of warfarin in this age group is unknown but may be due to a combination of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic factors. Limited information suggests there is no difference in the clearance of S-warfarin; however, there may be a slight decrease in the clearance of R-warfarin in the elderly as compared to the young. Therefore, as patient age increases, a lower dose of warfarin is usually required to produce a therapeutic level of anticoagulation [ see Dosage and Administration (2.3, 2.4)].
Asian patients may require lower initiation and maintenance doses of warfarin. A non-controlled study of 151 Chinese outpatients stabilized on warfarin for various indications reported a mean daily warfarin requirement of 3.3 ± 1.4 mg to achieve an INR of 2 to 2.5. Patient age was the most important determinant of warfarin requirement in these patients, with a progressively lower warfarin requirement with increasing age.
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