Warfarin Sensitivity Test

Warfarin Sensitivity Test

Warfarin is a commonly prescribed oral anticoagulant drug, which reduces the tendency of blood to clot by disrupting the activity of an enzyme called vitamin K epoxide reductase that reactivates vitamin K1. Without sufficient active vitamin K1, clotting factors II, VII, IX, and X in the blood have decreased clotting ability.

Sensitivity to warfarin is very variable, with the drug dosage required to achieve the desired anticoagulant effect varying by up to 10-fold between individuals. Characterising warfarin sensitivity is particularly useful when commencing therapy as it enables clinical staff to prescribe the most suitable dosage of the drug, minimising the chances of harm occurring through inadvertant under- or over-dosing.

Warfarin sensitivity is determined partially by genetic factors, with polymorphisms in two genes (VKORC1 and CYP2C9) playing a particularly large role in determining each individual’s sensitivity to the drug.

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