MEDICATION ERRORS: Waging war on warfarin

October 2005 
Volume 35  Number 10
Pages 10 - 10
  PDF Version Available!


If a patient taking warfarin is scheduled for a procedure such as cardiac catheterization, phytonadione (AquaMEPHYTON)—vitamin K1—may be prescribed to restore normal coagulation. But phytonadione's effects may last as long as a week. A health care practitioner who doesn't realize that phytonadione is still blocking warfarin's effects after the procedure may increase the patient's warfarin dose each day to improve anticoagulation, causing warfarin serum levels to be dangerously high when phytonadione's effects subside.

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