Pharmacokinetics of Phenprocoumon in Emergency Situations–Results of the Prospective Observational RADOA-Registry (Reversal Agent Use in Patients Treated with Direct Oral Anticoagulants or Vitamin K Antagonists Registry)
Background: Phenprocoumon has been used as an oral anticoagulant in patients with thromboembolic disease for more than 40 years. So far its pharmacokinetics have not been analyzed in emergency situations. Methods: Phenprocoumon-treated patients with major bleeding or urgent surgery were included in a prospective, observational registry. Phenprocoumon drug concentrations were analyzed in samples, collected as part of routine care using ultraperformance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Moreover, anticoagulant intensity and drug half-life (t1/2) were calculated. Results: 115 patients were included. Phenprocoumon levels declined over time with a half-life of 5.27 and 5.29 days in patients with major bleedings ( n = 82) and with urgent surgery ( n = 33). Baseline phenprocoumon levels were 2.2 times higher in the bleeding group compared to the surgery group (1.92 vs. 0.87 ng/mL, p < 0.0001). International normalized ratio (INR) values decreased rapidly during the first 24 h. In 27.6% of patients a rebound of INR (recurrent increase > 1.5) was observed which was associated with significantly increased bleeding rates (22% vs. 4.2% in patients with or without INR rebound, p = 0.012). Conclusions: In emergency situations, the long half-life of phenprocoumon may cause INR rebound and associated recurrent bleedings. Optimal management may need to include repeated vitamin K supplementation over days.