Saturday, January 14, 2006


Saturday January 14, 2006
7 Pearls of Vitamin K (phytonadione)

1. Oral Vitamin K has similar efficacy as intravenous Vitamin K. 1

2. SQ (subcutaneous) Vitamin K absorption is unreliable.

3. IM (intramuscular) Vitamin K may promote intramuscular hemorrhage.

4. IV (intravenous) Vitamin K is effective in 6 - 8 hours.

5. IV Vitamin K should be given very slow (preferably .5 mg/min).

6. IV Vitamin K may cause facial flushing, diaphoresis, chest pain, hypotension, dyspnea, anaphylaxis and cerebral thrombosis but pretreatment with antihistamines or corticosteroids is not routinely recommended. 7

7. Although IV Vitamin K has been decribed safe in few studies 3,7, it should be use only in life threatening bleeds from warfarin overdose or due to deficiency of vitamin K as fatality from anaphylactoid reaction could be high 4,5.

References: Click here to see abstract/article:
Comparison of Oral vs Intravenous Phytonadione (Vitamin K) in Patients With Excessive Anticoagulation - Arch Intern Med. 2003;163:2469-2473. - full article available with free registration.
Oral Vitamin K Lowers the International Normalized Ratio More Rapidly Than Subcutaneous Vitamin K in the Treatment of Warfarin-Associated Coagulopathy - Annals - 20 August 2002, Volume 137 Issue 4, Pages 251-254 -pdf file
The safety of intravenously administered vitamin K - via pubmed, Vet Hum Toxicol. 2002 Jun;44(3):174-6.
Anaphylactoid reactions to vitamin K - via pumed, J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2001 Apr;11(2):175-83.
Anaphylaxis after low dose intravenous vitamin K - via pubmed, J Emerg Med. 2003 Feb;24(2):169-72
Comparing Different Routes and Doses of Phytonadione for Reversing Excessive Anticoagulation - Arch Intern Med. 1998;158:2136-2140.
The incidence of anaphylaxis following intravenous phytonadione (vitamin K1): a 5-year retrospective review - Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Volume 89, Number 4, October 2002, pp. 400-406(7)