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Continuation of coumarin therapy is important to prevent thromboembolic events. Continuation of medication, unrelated to the reason for hospital admission, may be at risk due to the patient's psychiatric status and the involvement of several physicians in patient care. We performed a retrospective follow-up study of users of orally administered anticoagulants who were admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Information on patient characteristics, anticoagulant use, and International Normalized Ratio (INR) measurements was collected. Discontinuation of anticoagulant care was defined as no anticoagulant dispensing during the first 7 days of hospitalization and/or no INR measurement during hospitalization. Relative risks (RR) of discontinuation, overall and stratified by patient characteristics, was estimated using Cox regression analysis. Of 111 patients, 24.3 % had their anticoagulant care discontinued. For 17.1 %, no anticoagulant was dispensed during the first week, and 13.5 % had no INR measurement during hospitalization. Admission to a psychiatric hospital leads to discontinuation of anticoagulant care in 24.3 % of patients, with highest risk of discontinuation in patients admitted to nonpsychogeriatric wards. More research is needed to evaluate the clinical impact of this finding.


H Abdullah-Koolmees, T Gerbranda, V H M Deneer, M M Tjoeng, A J M De Ridder, H Gardarsdottir, E R Heerdink. Discontinuation of anticoagulant care during admission to a psychiatric hospital. European journal of clinical pharmacology. 2013 Apr;69(4):1025-9

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PMID: 23090698

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