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      Pharmacology of anticoagulants used in the treatment of venous thromboembolism

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          Abstract

          Anticoagulant drugs are the foundation of therapy for patients with VTE. While effective therapeutic agents, anticoagulants can also result in hemorrhage and other side effects. Thus, anticoagulant therapy selection should be guided by the risks, benefits and pharmacologic characteristics of each agent for each patient. Safe use of anticoagulants requires not only an in-depth knowledge of their pharmacologic properties but also a comprehensive approach to patient management and education. This paper will summarize the key pharmacologic properties of the anticoagulant agents used in the treatment of patients with VTE.

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          Most cited references65

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          Parenteral anticoagulants: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines.

          This article describes the pharmacology of approved parenteral anticoagulants. These include the indirect anticoagulants, unfractionated heparin (UFH), low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs), fondaparinux, and danaparoid, as well as the direct thrombin inhibitors hirudin, bivalirudin, and argatroban. UFH is a heterogeneous mixture of glycosaminoglycans that bind to antithrombin via a unique pentasaccharide sequence and catalyze the inactivation of thrombin, factor Xa, and other clotting enzymes. Heparin also binds to cells and plasma proteins other than antithrombin causing unpredictable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties and triggering nonhemorrhagic side effects, such as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and osteoporosis. LMWHs have greater inhibitory activity against factor Xa than thrombin and exhibit less binding to cells and plasma proteins than heparin. Consequently, LMWH preparations have more predictable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties, have a longer half-life than heparin, and are associated with a lower risk of nonhemorrhagic side effects. LMWHs can be administered once daily or bid by subcutaneous injection, without coagulation monitoring. Based on their greater convenience, LMWHs have replaced UFH for many clinical indications. Fondaparinux, a synthetic pentasaccharide, catalyzes the inhibition of factor Xa, but not thrombin, in an antithrombin-dependent fashion. Fondaparinux binds only to antithrombin. Therefore, fondaparinux-associated HIT or osteoporosis is unlikely to occur. Fondaparinux exhibits complete bioavailability when administered subcutaneously, has a longer half-life than LMWHs, and is given once daily by subcutaneous injection in fixed doses, without coagulation monitoring. Three additional parenteral direct thrombin inhibitors and danaparoid are approved as alternatives to heparin in patients with HIT.
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            Risk for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia with unfractionated and low-molecular-weight heparin thromboprophylaxis: a meta-analysis.

            Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is an uncommon but potentially devastating complication of anticoagulation with unfractionated heparin (UFH) or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH). Our objective was to determine and compare the incidences of HIT in surgical and medical patients receiving thromboprophylaxis with either UFH or LMWH. All relevant studies identified in the MEDLINE database (1984-2004), not limited by language, and from reference lists of key articles were evaluated. Randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials comparing prophylaxis with UFH and LMWH and measuring HIT or thrombocytopenia as outcomes were included. Two reviewers independently extracted data on thromboprophylaxis (type, dose, frequency, and duration), definition of thrombocytopenia, HIT assay, and rates of the following outcomes: HIT, thrombocytopenia, and thromboembolic events. HIT was defined as a decrease in platelets to less than 50% or to less than 100 x 10(9)/L and positive laboratory HIT assay. Fifteen studies (7287 patients) were eligible: 2 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) measuring HIT (1014 patients), 3 prospective studies (1464 patients) with nonrandomized comparison groups in which HIT was appropriately measured in both groups, and 10 RCTs (4809 patients) measuring thrombocytopenia but not HIT. Three analyses were performed using a random effects model and favored the use of LMWH: (1) RCTs measuring HIT showed an odds ratio (OR) of 0.10 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01-0.2; P = .03); (2) prospective studies measuring HIT showed an OR of 0.10 (95% CI, 0.03-0.33; P < .001); (3) all 15 studies measured thrombocytopenia. The OR was 0.47 (95% CI, 0.22-1.02; P = .06). The inverse variance-weighted average that determined the absolute risk for HIT with LMWH was 0.2%, and with UFH the risk was 2.6%. Most studies were of patients after orthopedic surgery.
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              Clinical Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Profile of Rivaroxaban

              Rivaroxaban is an oral, direct Factor Xa inhibitor that targets free and clot-bound Factor Xa and Factor Xa in the prothrombinase complex. It is absorbed rapidly, with maximum plasma concentrations being reached 2–4 h after tablet intake. Oral bioavailability is high (80–100 %) for the 10 mg tablet irrespective of food intake and for the 15 mg and 20 mg tablets when taken with food. Variability in the pharmacokinetic parameters is moderate (coefficient of variation 30–40 %). The pharmacokinetic profile of rivaroxaban is consistent in healthy subjects and across a broad range of different patient populations studied. Elimination of rivaroxaban from plasma occurs with a terminal half-life of 5–9 h in healthy young subjects and 11–13 h in elderly subjects. Rivaroxaban produces a pharmacodynamic effect that is closely correlated with its plasma concentration. The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic relationship for inhibition of Factor Xa activity can be described by an E max model, and prothrombin time prolongation by a linear model. Rivaroxaban does not inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes or known drug transporter systems and, because rivaroxaban has multiple elimination pathways, it has no clinically relevant interactions with most commonly prescribed medications. Rivaroxaban has been approved for clinical use in several thromboembolic disorders.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                enutescu@uic.edu
                Journal
                J Thromb Thrombolysis
                J. Thromb. Thrombolysis
                Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis
                Springer US (New York )
                0929-5305
                1573-742X
                16 January 2016
                16 January 2016
                2016
                : 41
                : 15-31
                Affiliations
                [ ]Department of Pharmacy Systems Outcomes and Policy and Center for Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacoeconomic Research, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL USA
                [ ]Inpatient Antithrombosis Services, University of New Mexico Hospital, University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy, Albuquerque, NM USA
                [ ]Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, Boston, MA USA
                [ ]Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, Philadelphia, PA USA
                [ ]University of Washington School of Pharmacy, Seattle, WA USA
                Article
                1314
                10.1007/s11239-015-1314-3
                4715843
                26780737
                33cf8657-d358-41b7-9477-043d982fa892
                © The Author(s) 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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                Article
                Custom metadata
                © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

                Hematology
                pharmacology,mechanism of action,anticoagulants,warfarin,heparins,direct oral anticoagulants (doac)

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