Are the risk factors listed in warfarin prescribing information associated with anticoagulation-related bleeding? A systematic literature review.
ABSTRACT Warfarin significantly reduces thromboembolic risk, but perceptions of associated bleeding risk limit its use. The evidence supporting the association between bleeding and individual patient risks factors is unclear. This systematic review aims to determine the strength of evidence supporting an accentuated bleeding risk when patients with risk factors listed in the warfarin prescribing information are prescribed the drug. A systematic literature search of MEDLINE and Cochrane CENTRAL was conducted to identify studies reporting multivariate relationships between prespecified covariates and the risk of bleeding in patients receiving warfarin. The prespecified covariates were identified based on patient characteristics for bleeding listed in the warfarin package insert. Each covariate was evaluated for its association with specific types of bleeding. The quality of individual evaluations was rated as 'good', 'fair' or 'poor' using methods consistent with those recommended by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Overall strength of evidence was determined using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development (GRADE) criteria and categorised as 'insufficient', 'very low', 'low', 'moderate' or 'high'. Thirty-four studies, reporting 134 multivariate evaluations of the association between a covariate and bleeding risk were identified. The majority of evaluations had a low strength of evidence for the association between covariates and bleeding and none had a high strength of evidence. Malignancy and renal insufficiency were the only two covariates that had a moderate strength of evidence for their association with major and minor bleeding respectively. The associations between covariates listed in the warfarin prescribing information and increased bleeding risk are not well supported by the medical literature.
- International Journal of Clinical Practice 07/2011; 65(7):719-21. · 2.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Warfarin is effective in preventing thromboembolic events, but concerns exist regarding its use in patients with substance abuse. OBJECTIVE: Identify which patients with substance abuse who receive warfarin are at risk for poor outcomes. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. Diagnostic codes, lab values, and other factors were examined to identify risk of adverse outcomes. PATIENTS: Veterans AffaiRs Study to Improve Anticoagulation (VARIA) database of 103,897 patients receiving warfarin across 100 sites. MAIN MEASURES: Outcomes included percent time in therapeutic range (TTR), a measure of anticoagulation control, and major hemorrhagic events by ICD-9 codes. RESULTS: Nonusers had a higher mean TTR (62 %) than those abusing alcohol (53 %), drugs (50 %), or both (44 %, p < 0.001). Among alcohol abusers, an increasing ratio of the serum hepatic transaminases aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase (AST:ALT) correlated with inferior anticoagulation control; normal AST:ALT ≤ 1.5 predicted relatively modest decline in TTR (54 %, p < 0.001), while elevated ratios (AST:ALT 1.50-2.0 and > 2.0) predicted progressively poorer anticoagulation control (49 % and 44 %, p < 0.001 compared to nonusers). Age-adjusted hazard ratio for major hemorrhage was 1.93 in drug and 1.37 in alcohol abuse (p < 0.001 compared to nonusers), and remained significant after also controlling for anticoagulation control and other bleeding risk factors (1.69 p < 0.001 and 1.22 p = 0.003). Among alcohol abusers, elevated AST:ALT >2.0 corresponded to more than three times the hemorrhages (HR 3.02, p < 0.001 compared to nonusers), while a normal ratio AST:ALT ≤ 1.5 predicted a rate similar to nonusers (HR 1.19, p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Anticoagulation control is particularly poor in patients with substance abuse. Major hemorrhages are more common in both alcohol and drug users. Among alcohol abusers, the ratio of AST/ALT holds promise for identifying those at highest risk for adverse events.Journal of General Internal Medicine 04/2013; · 3.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is major concern about coumarins interacting with various drug classes and increasing the risk of overanticoagulation. The aim of the study was to assess bleeding risk in patients with concurrent use of antibiotics and phenprocoumon, the most widely prescribed coumarin in many European countries. We conducted a nested-case-control study within a cohort of 513,338 incident and continuous phenprocoumon users ≥18 years of age using claims data of the statutory health insurance company AOK, covering 30% of the German population. Bleeding risk associated with current use of antibiotics for systemic use (antibacterials/antimycotics) was calculated using conditional logistic regression in 13,785 cases with a bleeding event and 55,140 risk-set sampling-matched controls. Bleeding risk associated with any antibacterial use in phenprocoumon users was significantly increased [odds ratio (OR) 2.37, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.20-2.56]. The association was stronger for gastrointestinal than for cerebral bleeding (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.84-2.38 and OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.03-1.74, respectively) and highest for other/unspecified bleeding (OR 2.92, 95% CI 2.62-3.26). Specific antibiotic classes were strongly associated with bleeding risk, e.g. cotrimoxazole (OR 3.86, 95% CI 3.08-4.84) and fluorquinolones (OR 3.13, 95% CI 2.74-3.59), among those highest for ofloxacin (OR 5.00, 95% CI 3.01-8.32). Combined use of phenprocoumon and antimycotics was not significantly associated with bleeding risk. Risk was not significantly modified by age (pint=0.25) or sex (pint=0.96). The association was stronger the closer the antibiotic exposure was to the bleeding event. Among continuous phenprocoumon users, antibiotics - particularly quinolones and cotrimoxazole - should be prescribed after careful consideration due to an increased bleeding risk. Close monitoring of international normalised ratio levels after prescription is recommended.Thrombosis and Haemostasis 01/2014; 111(5). · 5.76 Impact Factor