Influenza Vaccination and Vitamin K Antagonist Treatment
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BACKGROUND: Among millions of persons vaccinated against influenza virus each year, many are older patients treated with several drugs, including vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), among which warfarin is the most commonly used. Due to high interpatient and intrapatient variability, the therapeutic dose of VKA has to be individualized by monitoring of international normalized ratio (INR) values. The objectives of this study were to evaluate variation in the INR and warfarin weekly dose variation after influenza vaccination administration and to follow up patients for related hemorrhagic and thrombotic events to evaluate the safety of the influenza vaccine and to assess the immunogenicity of the influenza vaccination in patients receiving VKAs. METHODS: One hundred four patients on a stable VKA regimen and with an indication for influenza vaccination were randomized to receive influenza vaccination and subsequent placebo administration, or vice versa. All patients were tested for coagulation variables, clinical events, and antibody response against vaccine components. RESULTS: Similar mean prothrombin times, expressed as the INR and VKA weekly dose, were found in patients after receiving vaccine or placebo. The absence of any vaccination effect on VKA treatment was confirmed using a linear mixed-effects model. The percentages of time that patients were in therapeutic range were 70.7% after receiving vaccine and 72.4% after receiving placebo (P = .57). There were no fatal or major bleeding events and 11 minor mucocutaneous hemorrhagic events. After vaccination, the percentage of seroprotected patients ranged from 92.0% to 100.0% depending on the vaccine antigen examined. CONCLUSIONS: Influenza vaccination had no significant effect on INR values or warfarin sodium weekly doses. Close monitoring of INR values is not required after influenza vaccination in patients on stable long-term VKA regimens. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00222638.
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