Off-label use of recombinant activated factor VII in surgical and non-surgical patients at 16 Canadian hospitals from 2007 to 2010 (Canadian Registry Report) Academic Article uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) is a pro-hemostatic drug that is approved for treatment of bleeding in hemophilia patients, but it is frequently used off-label in non-hemophiliacs. The purpose of this study was to determine if the off-label use of rFVIIa is expanding and whether this poses a net harm to patients. METHODS: For this historical cohort study, data were collected on all non-hemophilia patients who received rFVIIa from 2007 to 2010 at 16 Canadian centres, and the pattern of use was examined. Logistic regression was used to determine the prognostic importance of severity of bleeding and the presence of an rFVIIa dose-effect relationship with major adverse events. RESULTS: One thousand three hundred seventy-eight patients received rFVIIa off-label, and 987 (72%) of these patients underwent cardiac surgery. The median [interquartile range] dose was 57 [36-85] µg·kg(-1). Usage increased from 2007 to 2008 (n = 341 and 380, respectively) but decreased in 2009 and 2010 (n = 350 and 307, respectively). Dose of rFVIIa and bleeding severity were associated with measured adverse events (P < 0.05). After adjusting for bleeding severity, dose was not associated with any of the adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: The off-label use of rFVIIa in Canada remains stable. Since severity of bleeding is prognostically important, the benefits of rapidly gaining control of bleeding that is non-responsive to conventional therapies may at times warrant the use of potent hemostatic drugs with established risk profiles, such as rFVIIa.


  • Karkouti, Keyvan
  • Arellano, Ramiro
  • Aye, Tim
  • Dupuis, Jean-Yves
  • Kent, Blaine
  • Lee, Trevor WR
  • Lin, Yulia
  • Ralley, Fiona
  • MacAdams, Charles
  • Mazer, C David
  • Muirhead, Brian
  • Rheault, Michel R
  • Rochon, Antoine
  • Syed, Summer
  • Waters, Terrence
  • Wong, Bill

publication date

  • August 2014