Finally! An Easier Way to Reverse the Effects of Coumadin (Warfarin)

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Posted on

Those of you on the blood thinner Coumadin (warfarin) know the dangers of your blood being too thin, which can lead to serious bleeding complications. For this reason, Coumadin is the medication responsible for the most hospitalizations due to complications. What happens is the levels of blood thinner get too high because your dose hasn’t been properly adjusted and this can lead to bleeding in the gut, the brain and the joints among other places. I’ve seen it quite a bit.

In the past we have given Vitamin K and fresh frozen plasma (which contains clotting factors) to reverse the effects of your Coumadin but now we have something easier and faster!

The FDA just announced the approval of Kcentra for the urgent reversal of coumadin in adults with acute major bleeding. Kcentra is made from the pooled plasma of healthy donors, and is processed in a way to minimize the risk of viral and disease transmission.

Kcentra is used with the administration of vitamin K to reverse the effect of your blood thinner. The benefit, unlike plasma, is that Kcentra doesn’t require blood group typing or thawing, so it can be administered more quickly than frozen plasma. Kcentra is given by single injection.

Good deal.

Dr O.

Drugs featured in this story

Filed under