Pharmacometric Models for Individualisation of Warfarin in Adults and Children
Abstract: Warfarin is one of the most widely used anticoagulants. Therapy is complicated by warfarin’s narrow therapeutic range and pronounced variability in individual dose requirements. Although warfarin therapy is uncommon in children, it is crucial for children with certain congenital or acquired heart diseases. Treatment in children is especially difficult due to the lack of i) a decision support tool for efficient and consistent dose adjustments, and ii) a flexible warfarin formulation for accurate and reproducible dosing.The overall aim of this thesis was to develop a PKPD-based pharmacometric model for warfarin that describes the dose-response relationship over time, and to identify important predictors that influence individual dose requirements both in adults and children. Special emphasis was placed on investigating the contribution of genetic factors to the observed variability.A clinically useful pharmacometric model for warfarin has been developed using NONMEM. The model has been successfully reformulated into a KPD-model that describes the relationship between warfarin dose and INR response, and that is applicable to both adults and children. From a clinical perspective, this is a very important change since it allows the use of information on dose and INR that is available routinely. The model incorporates both patient and clinical characteristics, such as age, weight, CYP2C9 and VKORC1 genotype, and baseline and target INR, for the prediction of an individualised starting dose. It also enables the use of information from previous doses and INR observations to further individualise the dose a posteriori using a Bayesian forecasting method.The NONMEM model has been transferred to a user-friendly, platform independent tool to aid use in clinical practice. The tool can be used for a priori and a posteriori individualisation of warfarin therapy in both adults and children. The tool should ensure consistent dose adjustment practices, and provide more efficient individualisation of warfarin dosing in all patients, irrespective of age, body weight, CYP2C9 or VKORC1 genotype, baseline or target INR. The expected outcome is improved warfarin therapy compared with empirical dosing, with patients achieving a therapeutic and stable INR faster and avoiding high INRs that increase the risk of bleeding.
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