Plasmatic coagulation parameters were studied in patients on parenteral cephalosporins with different hepatic pharmacokinetics. Sixty patients received either cefotaxime (4 g/day), ceftriaxone (2 g/day) or latamoxef (4 g/day) pre- and postoperatively for at least 5 days at random. They received parenteral nutrition without vitamin K supply and had no oral intake. A significant drop (p < 0.05) in vitamin-K-dependent coagulation factors was recorded in patients treated with latamoxef, while patients receiving ceftriaxone and cefotaxime did not exhibit a significant change in their plasmatic coagulation parameters. Interference of some cephalosporins with the vitamin-K-dependent hepatic metabolism of clotting factors seems to be likely, rather than a suppression of intestinal vitamin K production by the intestinal microflora.

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