Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary In three patients treated with cephalosporins (one patient with latamoxef, two patients with cefazedone) vitamin K1 was injected to investigate whether this was followed by an increase in vitamin K1 2,3-epoxide plasma concentrations as compared to controls. Such a rise in K1-epoxide concentrations in the plasma can be demonstrated following treatment with coumarins. This reflects an inhibition of the vitamin K1-epoxide reductase in the liver. Coumarins are thought to induce hypoprothrombinaemia by such a mechanism. In all three patients we found a considerable increase in the vitamin K1-epoxide plasma concentrations following injection of 10 mg vitamin K1, whereas in normal subjects only traces of K1-epoxide could be detected (〈0.030 µg/ml). The K1-epoxide concentrations found in our three patients treated with cephalosporins were 0.12, 0.16 and 0.19 µg/ml, respectively. This indicates that latamoxef or cefazedone might reduce clotting factor synthesis by a coumarin-like mechanism of action in these patients. Although the effect of cephalosporins in enhancing vitamin K1-epoxide plasma concentrations is less than that of coumarins, it might cause severe hypoprothrombinaemia in the presence of latent vitamin K deficiency.
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