Potential Dexamethasone-Direct Oral Anticoagulant Drug Interaction: Is This a Concern in COVID?
The Annals of pharmacotherapy
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the literature on a potential dexamethasone-direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) drug interaction and provide management considerations with COVID hypercoagulability.
DATA SOURCES: A search of EMBASE, PubMed, and Google Scholar (January 1990 to May 2021), limited to the English language, using applicable search terms resulted in 137 articles, with 21 relevant articles included. Regulatory agency and clinical guidance documents were also reviewed.
STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: Included articles describe in vitro or in vivo animal or human data for dexamethasone induction of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 or P-glycoprotein (P-gp).
DATA SYNTHESIS: Dexamethasone has the potential to interact with the DOACs via CYP3A4 and/or P-gp induction. Only apixaban and rivaroxaban have CYP3A4 metabolism. Dexamethasone can increase CYP3A4 activity by up to 70% and reduce the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) of CYP3A4 substrates by >40%, which is consistent with criteria for a weak CYP inducer. In rodents, dexamethasone P-gp induction is associated with AUC reductions of 20% to 50%. Human data are lacking.
RELEVANCE TO PATIENT CARE AND CLINICAL PRACTICE: Severe COVID-19 infection is associated with hypercoagulability. Although heparins are the preferred anticoagulants for hospitalized COVID-19 patients, DOACs are being utilized. Dexamethasone is recommended for hospitalized COVID-19 patients requiring supplemental oxygen. The concurrent use of dexamethasone and apixaban or rivaroxaban in such patients carries the potential for reduced anticoagulant effect during a state of heightened thrombotic risk.
CONCLUSIONS: Concurrent use of dexamethasone and apixaban or rivaroxaban in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with laboratory evidence of COVID coagulopathy should be avoided until higher-quality data are available.
Smythe MA, Burns C, Liu Q, Garwood CL. Potential Dexamethasone-Direct Oral Anticoagulant Drug Interaction: Is This a Concern in COVID? Ann Pharmacother. 2022 Mar;56(3):319-329. doi: 10.1177/10600280211025042. Epub 2021 Jun 17. PMID: 34137279.