RESEARCH ARTICLE


A Prospective Study on the Use of Warfarin in the United Arab Emirates



Abdulla Shehab1, *, Asim Elnour3, Abdishakur Abdulle1, Abdul-Kader Souid4
1 Departments of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, UAE
2 Department of Cardiology, Al Ain Hospital, Al-Ain, UAE
3 Department of Pharmacy, Al Ain Hospital, Al-Ain, UAE
4 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, UAE


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© Shehab et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Departments of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, UAE, P.O. Box: 59262; Al Ain, UAE; Tel: 00971506161028; E-mail: a.shehab@uaeu.ac.ae


Abstract

Objectives:

The aims of this study were to evaluate adherence of patients and medical staff to warfarin guidelines and assess clinical outcome and predictors of treatment failure.

Methods:

This cross-sectional survey involved out- and in-patient subjects receiving warfarin. Patient attentiveness, compliance, co-morbidities, complications, and international normalized ratio (INR) as well as adherence of medical staff to established warfarin treatment guidelines were recorded.

Results:

One-hundred-sixty patients were recruited (mean ± SD age = 54 ± 1.3 years; 46% males; 77% overweight/obese). Indications for warfarin were atrial fibrillation (35%), deep vein thrombosis (28%), prosthetic heart valve (20%) and stroke or dilated cardiomyopathy (12%). “Warfarin booklets” were made available to 25% of the patients, and ~80% of the recipients reported inadequate understanding of its content. INR was strictly monitored in 23% of the patients; ~70% never received Information Leaflets; ~88% were unaware of warning labels; and ~58% were unaware that over-thecounter medications may affect warfarin. Therapeutic INR (2.9 ± 0.2; 76 days) was achieved in 73%; 20% had high INR (3.7 ± 0.1; 18.6 days) and 7% had low INR (1.6 ± 0.1; 16.7 days). Of the patients with high INR, 2.5% had major bleeding events. Of the patients with low INR, 5% had thromboembolic events. Poor compliance and co-morbidities were associated with adverse events (p=0.01).

Conclusions:

Attentiveness and adherence to warfarin treatment and monitoring guidelines are suboptimal among patients and medical staff. Novel strategies are necessary to alert patients, pharmacists and physicians on the seriousness of warfarin treatment failure.

Keywords: Warfarin, international normalized ratio, bleeding, thromboembolism, United Arab Emirates..