Prescription Drug Information: Warfarin Sodium (Page 3 of 7)

5.7 Use in Pregnant Women with Mechanical Heart Valves

Warfarin sodium can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. While warfarin sodium is contraindicated during pregnancy, the potential benefits of using warfarin sodium may outweigh the risks for pregnant women with mechanical heart valves at high risk of thromboembolism. In those individual situations, the decision to initiate or continue warfarin sodium should be reviewed with the patient, taking into consideration the specific risks and benefits pertaining to the individual patient’s medical situation, as well as the most current medical guidelines. Warfarin sodium exposure during pregnancy causes a recognized pattern of major congenital malformations (warfarin embryopathy and fetotoxicity), fatal fetal hemorrhage, and an increased risk of spontaneous abortion and fetal mortality. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus [ see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

5.8 Other Clinical Settings with Increased Risks

In the following clinical settings, the risks of warfarin sodium therapy may be increased:

  • Moderate to severe hepatic impairment
  • Infectious diseases or disturbances of intestinal flora (e.g., sprue, antibiotic therapy)
  • Use of an indwelling catheter
  • Severe to moderate hypertension
  • Deficiency in protein C-mediated anticoagulant response: warfarin sodium reduces the synthesis of the naturally occurring anticoagulants, protein C and protein S. Hereditary or acquired deficiencies of protein C or its cofactor, protein S, have been associated with tissue necrosis following warfarin administration. Concomitant anticoagulation therapy with heparin for 5 to 7 days during initiation of therapy with warfarin sodium may minimize the incidence of tissue necrosis in these patients.
  • Eye surgery: In cataract surgery, warfarin sodium use was associated with a significant increase in minor complications of sharp needle and local anesthesia block but not associated with potentially sight-threatening operative hemorrhagic complications. As warfarin sodium cessation or reduction may lead to serious thromboembolic complications, the decision to discontinue warfarin sodium before a relatively less invasive and complex eye surgery, such as lens surgery, should be based upon the risks of anticoagulant therapy weighed against the benefits.
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Vasculitis
  • Diabetes mellitus

5.9 Endogenous Factors Affecting INR

The following factors may be responsible for increased INR response: diarrhea, hepatic disorders, poor nutritional state, steatorrhea, or vitamin K deficiency.

The following factors may be responsible for decreased INR response: increased vitamin K intake or hereditary warfarin resistance.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions to warfarin sodium are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

Other adverse reactions to warfarin sodium include:

  • Immune system disorders: hypersensitivity/allergic reactions (including urticaria and anaphylactic reactions)
  • Vascular disorders: vasculitis
  • Hepatobiliary disorders: hepatitis, elevated liver enzymes. Cholestatic hepatitis has been associated with concomitant administration of warfarin sodium and ticlopidine.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, taste perversion, abdominal pain, flatulence, bloating
  • Skin disorders: rash, dermatitis (including bullous eruptions), pruritus, alopecia
  • Respiratory disorders: tracheal or tracheobronchial calcification
  • General disorders: chills

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS

7.1 General Information

Drugs may interact with warfarin sodium through pharmacodynamic or pharmacokinetic mechanisms. Pharmacodynamic mechanisms for drug interactions with warfarin sodium are synergism (impaired hemostasis, reduced clotting factor synthesis), competitive antagonism (vitamin K), and alteration of the physiologic control loop for vitamin K metabolism (hereditary resistance). Pharmacokinetic mechanisms for drug interactions with warfarin sodium are mainly enzyme induction, enzyme inhibition, and reduced plasma protein binding. It is important to note that some drugs may interact by more than one mechanism.

More frequent INR monitoring should be performed when starting or stopping other drugs, including botanicals, or when changing dosages of other drugs, including drugs intended for short-term use (e.g., antibiotics, antifungals, corticosteroids) [see Boxed Warning] .

Consult the labeling of all concurrently used drugs to obtain further information about interactions with warfarin sodium or adverse reactions pertaining to bleeding.

7.2 CYP450 Interactions

CYP450 isozymes involved in the metabolism of warfarin include CYP2C9, 2C19, 2C8, 2C18, 1A2, and 3A4. The more potent warfarin S -enantiomer is metabolized by CYP2C9 while the R -enantiomer is metabolized by CYP1A2 and 3A4.

  • Inhibitors of CYP2C9, 1A2, and/or 3A4 have the potential to increase the effect (increase INR) of warfarin by increasing the exposure of warfarin.
  • Inducers of CYP2C9, 1A2, and/or 3A4 have the potential to decrease the effect (decrease INR) of warfarin by decreasing the exposure of warfarin.

Examples of inhibitors and inducers of CYP2C9, 1A2, and 3A4 are below in Table 2; however, this list should not be considered all-inclusive. Consult the labeling of all concurrently used drugs to obtain further information about CYP450 interaction potential. The CYP450 inhibition and induction potential should be considered when starting, stopping, or changing dose of concomitant medications. Closely monitor INR if a concomitant drug is a CYP2C9, 1A2, and/or 3A4 inhibitor or inducer.

Table 2: Examples of CYP450 Interactions with Warfarin
Enzyme Inhibitors Inducers
CYP2C9 amiodarone, capecitabine, cotrimoxazole, etravirine, fluconazole, fluvastatin, fluvoxamine, metronidazole, miconazole, oxandrolone, sulfinpyrazone, tigecycline, voriconazole, zafirlukast aprepitant, bosentan, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, rifampin
CYP1A2 acyclovir, allopurinol, caffeine, cimetidine, ciprofloxacin, disulfiram, enoxacin, famotidine, fluvoxamine, methoxsalen, mexiletine, norfloxacin, oral contraceptives, phenylpropanolamine, propafenone, propranolol, terbinafine, thiabendazole, ticlopidine, verapamil, zileuton montelukast, moricizine, omeprazole, phenobarbital, phenytoin, cigarette smoking
CYP3A4 alprazolam, amiodarone, amlodipine, amprenavir, aprepitant, atorvastatin, atazanavir, bicalutamide, cilostazol, cimetidine, ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, conivaptan, cyclosporine, darunavir/ritonavir, diltiazem, erythromycin, fluconazole, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, fosamprenavir, imatinib, indinavir, isoniazid, itraconazole, ketoconazole, lopinavir/ritonavir, nefazodone, nelfinavir, nilotinib, oral contraceptives, posaconazole, ranitidine, ranolazine, ritonavir, saquinavir, telithromycin, tipranavir, voriconazole, zileuton armodafinil, amprenavir, aprepitant, bosentan, carbamazepine, efavirenz, etravirine, modafinil, nafcillin, phenytoin, pioglitazone, prednisone, rifampin, rufinamide

7.3 Drugs that Increase Bleeding Risk

Examples of drugs known to increase the risk of bleeding are presented in Table 3. Because bleeding risk is increased when these drugs are used concomitantly with warfarin, closely monitor patients receiving any such drug with warfarin.

Table 3: Drugs that Can Increase the Risk of Bleeding
Drug Class Specific Drugs
Anticoagulants argatroban, dabigatran, bivalirudin, desirudin, heparin, lepirudin
Antiplatelet Agents aspirin, cilostazol, clopidogrel, dipyridamole, prasugrel, ticlopidine
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents celecoxib, diclofenac, diflunisal, fenoprofen, ibuprofen, indomethacin, ketoprofen, ketorolac, mefenamic acid, naproxen, oxaprozin, piroxicam, sulindac
Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors citalopram, desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, milnacipran, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, vilazodone

7.4 Antibiotics and Antifungals

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.

7.5 Botanical (Herbal) Products and Foods

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.

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