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Warfarin withdrawal : Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic considerations
Warfarin, like all the 4-hydroxycoumarin compounds, has an asymmetric carbon atom. The clinically available warfarin preparations consist of a racemic mixture of equal amounts of 2 distinct S and R isomers, the former being 4-times more potent as anticoagulant and more susceptible to drug interaction. Warfarin is highly water soluble and rapidly absorbed from the stomach and the upper gastrointestinal tract ; its plasma concentrations peak 60 to 90 minutes after oral administration. Warfarin binds to the enzyme vitamin K 2,3-epoxide reductase in liver microsomes, stopping the cycle of vitamin K and reducing y-carboxylation of the precursors of vitamin D-dependent pro- and anticoagulant factors. A variable fraction of the binding with the target enzyme, albeit small, can be reversed by competitive displacers, such as dithiol-reducing agent activity. Differences in dithiol-reducing activity have been suggested as a contributing factor to the wide interindividual differences in sensitivity to oral anticoagulants. The anticoagulant effect is caused by a small fraction of the drug, since most (97 to 99%) is protein bound (mainly to albumin) and ineffective. Drugs that can displace the albumin binding will increase the action of warfarin, even though this effect is counteracted by a more rapid elimination of the drug. The elimination half-life of warfarin varies greatly among individuals, ranging from 35 to 45 hours ; the S isomer has, however, an average half-life shorter than the
Adis international
PMID : 8983860 ISSN : 0312-5963 CODEN : CPKNDH
Clinical pharmacokinetics A. 1996, vol. 30, n° 4, pp. 300-313 [bibl. : 87 ref.]
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