Therapeutic Enoxaparin in the Morbidly Obese Patient: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

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© The Author(s) 2018. Enoxaparin is a low molecular weight heparin commonly used in the treatment of venous thromboembolisms (VTEs); however, evidence on optimal empiric dosing recommendations are lacking in patients with morbid obesity. Utilization of an absolute dose cap, anti-Xa monitoring, and reduced empiric dosing are among the techniques used in this population. We describe a case of a morbidly obese man (body-mass index, BMI: 68.2 kg/m2, total body weight: 236 kg) who required therapeutic enoxaparin for suspected pulmonary embolism (PE) and critical limb ischemia as a bridge therapy during warfarin initiation. An initial empiric dose of 200 mg Q12 hours (0.85 mg/kg) resulted in an anti-Xa level of 1.01 IU/mL following the fifth dose, and no dose modification was deemed necessary. He experienced no adverse effects from treatment. This report adds to a growing body of evidence illustrating the need for reduced empiric weight-based doses of enoxaparin in the morbidly obese population and raises the question of whether dose capping is an appropriate practice in the clinical setting of morbidly obese patients with acute VTE.

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