Phytomenadione or menadiol in the management of an elevated international normalized ratio (prothrombin time)


Mr B.Green Pharmacy Department, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Herston Road, Herston, Brisbane, Australia 4029. E-mail:



To evaluate the efficacy of oral menadiol compared to intravenous phytomenadione when correcting coagulopathies associated with cholestasis.


A total of 26 patients with cholestasis and an international normalized ratio (prothrombin time) greater than 1.2, were randomized to receive either 20 mg o.d. for 3 days of oral menadiol (n=12), or 10 mg o.d. of intravenous phytomenadione (n=14) prior to endoscopic retrograde cholangeopancreatography. Liver function tests and international normalized ratio were measured daily for 3 days.


Liver function tests and international normalized ratio were comparable between groups at entry into the study (P > 0.05), but serum albumin was significantly lower in the intravenous phytomenadione group following treatment (P < 0.05). A decrease in international normalized ratio occurred in both groups following administration of vitamin K (P < 0.05). Two patients in the intravenous group required fresh frozen plasma, as failure to normalize international normalized ratio was observed. No adverse drug reactions were observed in either group, and no patient required re-admission for bleeding during a 4-week follow-up period after cholangeopancreatography.


Oral menadiol appears to be an effective alternative to intravenous phytomenadione in the correction of coagulopathies associated with obstructive liver disease. This simplifies the care of patients with deranged clotting times requiring cholangeopancreatography, particularly those to be managed as out-patients.