Vitamin K Deficiency Medication

Updated: Sep 27, 2017
  • Author: Dieu-Thu Nguyen-Khoa, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

In vitamin K (VK) deficiency, the goals of pharmacotherapy are to correct the deficiency, reduce morbidity, and prevent complications. Newborns commonly are given VK-1 injections intramuscularly to prevent bleeding problems. In adults, VK-1 should be administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly. If the PT does not normalize, good evidence exists for the presence of liver disease or DIC. Vitamin K is necessary for the function of clotting factors in the coagulation cascade. [3, 4, 36]

Some small studies have suggested that prophylaxis with VK in newborn patients may increase the risk of cancer, but large, observational trials have found no such correlation. [30]

Another observational study (Nurse's Health Study) found that a higher dietary intake of VK is associated with a significantly reduced risk of hip fracture. In Japan, high oral doses of VK (45mg/day) are given to prevent osteoporosis with little known side effects. [19]


Vitamins, Fat-Soluble

Class Summary

These are used to supplement existing levels of essential vitamins or to replace essential vitamins that are not obtained in sufficient quantities in the diet. Vitamin K is necessary for the function of clotting factors in the coagulation cascade.

Phytonadione (Mephyton)

Phytonadione promotes the synthesis of clotting factors in the liver. The oral form requires the presence of bile in the small intestine for absorption and is therefore not used in emergency situations. Metabolism occurs in the liver, and elimination occurs in bile and urine. Phytonadione has a more rapid and prolonged effect than does menadione (water soluble). The injectable form should be protected from light at all times (it may be autoclaved).


Blood Components

Class Summary

Plasma is the fluid compartment of blood containing the soluble clotting factors.

Fresh frozen plasma

Fresh frozen plasma is for use in patients with blood product deficiencies.