Comparison of the 5-fluorouracil-warfarin and capecitabine-warfarin drug interactions

Sachin R. Shah, Randall Martin, Jonathan E. Dowell, Sarah M.Gressett Ussery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Study Objective. To compare the differences between the 5-fluorouracil-warfarin and capecitabine-warfarin drug interactions in patients receiving therapeutic doses of warfarin. Design. Retrospective medical record review. Setting. Large academic Veterans Affairs health care system. Patients. Twenty-four patients who received concomitant therapeutic doses of warfarin and at least one dose of a fluoropyrimidine - 5-fluorouracil or capecitabine - between January 2004 and May 2008. Measurements and Main Results. The primary outcome was mean change in international normalized ratio (INR) from baseline to end of 90-day study period. Only patients who were taking warfarin before starting either fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy were included in the primary analysis. Of the 24 eligible patients, 15 (9 receiving 5-fluorouracil, 6 receiving capecitabine) were taking warfarin before receiving either fluoropyrimidine. No significant differences were noted in the average weekly warfarin dose or baseline INR between the 5-fluorouracil and capecitabine groups. The mean change in INR for patients taking warfarin before fluoropyrimidine use was 4.62 in the 5-fluorouracil group compared with 5.11 in the capecitabine group (p=0.87). The capecitabine group had a similar proportion of patients achieving an INR above 9 while taking warfarin compared with the 5-fluorouracil group (17% vs 22%). In those patients who required a warfarin dosage reduction, the dose was reduced by 38% and 41% in the 5-fluorouracil and capecitabine groups, respectively. No significant differences in bleeding events were reported within 90 days of concurrent use of either fluoropyrimidine with warfarin. Conclusion. Our study suggests that in patients receiving concomitant warfarin and a fluoropyrimidine, no significant differences in INR elevation or bleeding events were noted with 5-fluorouracil compared with capecitabine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1259-1265
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2010


  • 5-FU
  • 5-fluorouracil
  • Anticoagulation
  • Capecitabine
  • Drug interactions
  • Fluoropyrimidine
  • INR
  • International normalized ratio
  • Warfarin


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