While alternative oral anticoagulant drugs such as dabigatran have recently been developed, warfarin is currently still the most commonly used and only PBS-listed oral anticoagulant in Australia for the prevention and treatment of thromboembolism in patients with mechanical heart valves, atrial fibrillation and deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolus. Warfarin exerts its therapeutic action as a vitamin K antagonist, lowering the amount of vitamin K available for the production of important clotting factors.
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A joint initiative of the Patient Services Section and the Drug and Therapeutics Information Service of the Pharmacy Department, Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park, South Australia. The RGH Pharmacy E-Bulletin is distributed in electronic format on a weekly basis, and aims to present concise, factual information on issues of current interest in therapeutics, drug safety and cost-effective use of medications.
Editor: Assoc. Prof. Chris Alderman, University of South Australia – Director of Pharmacy, RGH © Pharmacy Department, Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park, South Australia 5041.