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Review of fondaparinux sodium injection for the prevention of venous thromboembolism in patients undergoing surgery

Authors David Bergqvist

Published 15 December 2006 Volume 2006:2(4) Pages 365—370


David Bergqvist

Department of Surgery, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: The antithrombin binding sequence of heparin, a pentasaccharide, has been synthesized as fondaparinux, an indirect, selective, and reversible factor Xa inhibitor. It can be administered subcutaneously, is well absorbed, and has a half-life of c. 17 hours permitting once-daily injection. It has been evaluated in an extensive study program in major orthopedic surgery, including hip fracture, and in major abdominal surgery with a large proportion of surgery for cancer. The effect is at least as effective as for low-molecular-weight heparins and it has also been shown effective for extended prophylaxis in hip fracture patients. Several thousands of patients have been studied and the substance is safe, although a slightly higher frequency of bleedings is found than in patients on low-molecular-weight heparins. There is no specific antidote but if necessary, recombinant activated factor VII can be used. Other side-effects are rare. Fondaparinux is cost saving and sometimes cost neutral when compared with enoxaparin.

Keywords: fondaparinux, venous thrombosis, venous thromboembolism, surgery, orthopedic surgery, major abdominal surgery, bleeding complications

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