USE OF WARFARIN IN PEDIATRICS: CLINICAL AND PHARMACOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS
ABSTRACT Objective: To describe how children respond to oral anticoagulation with warfarin, verifying the influence of age, clinical condition, route of administration of warfarin and use of total parenteral nutrition (TPN), as well as to describe risk factors for the occurrence of thrombotic events (TE) in childhood. Methods: A retrospective descriptive study including all patients ≤18 years old for whom warfarin was prescribed in a university hospital. Patients were divided according to clinical condition, age, route of medication administration and use of TPN. Data was collected from the patients’ medical records and the analysis considered the risk factors for TE already described in the literature, the time and the dose required in order to reach the first International Normalized Ratio (INR) in the target and the adverse events in this period. After reaching the INR, the maintenance of anticoagulation was verified by the prescribed dose and INR tests. Results: Twenty-nine patients were included in the study. The major risk factor for TE was the use of a central venous catheter in 89.6% of the patients. Patients with short bowel syndrome and total parenteral nutrition required significantly higher doses (p≤0.05) to achieve and maintain the INR in the target. Patients ≤1 year old needed longer periods and required an increased dose of anticoagulation and maintenance than older patients. The mean number of INR examinations below the target was 48.2% in the groups studied. Conclusions: The observed complexity of anticoagulant therapy reinforces the need to develop protocols that guide clinical practice.