Argatroban use in heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2008 Aug;9(11):1963-7
Authors: Boggio LN, Oza VM
BACKGROUND: Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a serious, life-threatening complication which occurs in 1-3% of patients receiving heparin. Patients with untreated HIT have an up to 50% risk of developing life- and limb-threatening thromboembolic complications. Treatment is based upon clinical suspicion, stopping heparin therapy and initiation of anticoagulation with a rapidly acting alternative non-heparin anticoagulant, such as argatroban-a hepatically excreted direct thrombin inhibitor which is effective in the treatment of HIT. OBJECTIVE: To summarize the pharmacological and clinical data, and discuss the impact of argatroban in the current treatment of HIT. METHODS: A literature search was performed with the aid of Pubmed and Google. Search parameters of 'argatroban', 'heparin-induced thrombocytopenia' and 'treatment' were input into both search engines. CONCLUSION: Argatroban is a safe and effective treatment for HIT. In patients taking other hepatically cleared medications, lower initial doses may have to be used to avoid over-anticoagulation.
PMID: 18627333 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]