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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Safety

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Warfarin (marketed as Coumadin)

Audience: Hematologists, other healthcare providers, consumers

[Posted 08/16/2007] FDA approved updated labeling to include pharmacogenomics information to the CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, PRECAUTIONS, and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION sections of the prescribing information for the widely used blood-thinning drug, Coumadin. This new information explains that people's genetic makeup may influence how they respond to the drug. Specifically, people with variations in two genes may need lower warfarin doses than people without these genetic variations. The two genes are called CYP2C9 and VKORC1. The CYP2C9 gene is involved in the breakdown (metabolism) of warfarin and the VKORC1 gene helps regulate the ability of warfarin to prevent blood from clotting.

The dosage and administration of warfarin must be individualized for each patient according to the particular patient's prothrombin time (PT) / International Normalized Ratio (INR) response to the drug. The specific dose recommendations are described in the warfarin product labeling, along with the new information regarding the impact of genetic information upon the initial dose and the response to warfarin. Ongoing warfarin therapy should be guided by continued INR monitoring.

[August 16, 2007 - Drug Information Page - FDA]