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MEPHYTON (phytonadione) tablets possess the same type and degree of activity as does naturally-occurring vitamin K, which is necessary for the production via the liver of active prothrombin (factor II), proconvertin (factor VII), plasma thromboplastin component (factor IX), and Stuart factor (factor X). The prothrombin test is sensitive to the levels of three of these four factors – II, VII, and X. Vitamin K is an essential cofactor for a microsomal enzyme that catalyzes the posttranslational carboxylation of multiple, specific, peptidebound glutamic acid residues in inactive hepatic precursors of factors II, VII, IX, and X. The resulting gammacarboxyglutamic acid residues convert the precursors into active coagulation factors that are subsequently secreted by liver cells into the blood.
Oral phytonadione is adequately absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract only if bile salts are present. After absorption, phytonadione is initially concentrated in the liver, but the concentration declines rapidly. Very little vitamin K accumulates in tissues. Little is known about the metabolic fate of vitamin K. Almost no free unmetabolized vitamin K appears in bile or urine.
In normal animals and humans, phytonadione is virtually devoid of pharmacodynamic activity. However, in animals and humans deficient in vitamin K, the pharmacological action of vitamin K is related to its normal physiological function; that is, to promote the hepatic biosynthesis of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors.
MEPHYTON (phytonadione) tablets generally exert their effect within 6 to 10 hours.
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/2/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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