Vitamin K (Phytonadione, Mephyton, AquaMephyton)


  • Vitamin


  • Dietary supplement; fat-soluble vitamin


  • Vitamin K deficiency

  • Coagulation disorders (blood clotting factors)

  • Anticoagulant-induced prothrombin deficiency

  • Prophylaxis and treatment of hemorrhagic disease in newborn

  • Warfarin overdose antidote


  • Avoid intravenous administration unless unavoidable.  Administer SQ or IM, if IV must be used give very slowly, not exceeding 1mg per minute.


  • Pregnancy category C

  • Vitamin K deficiency is

  • Patients may develop hypervitaminosis K with excessive intravenous dosages.  Symptoms of hypervitaminosis are “flushing sensations”, taste changes and rarely, dizziness sweating and rapid and weak pulse.

  • Vitamin K will NOT reverse the anticoagulant effects of heparin.

  • Reversal of coumarin class (warfarin) anticoagulation takes from 1-2 hours.

  • Vitamin K is excreted into breast milk.

Adverse Reactions (Side Effects):

Relatively non-toxic in therapeutic doses

Hyperbilirubinemia in newborns, occurring at doses greater than recommended.  


  • Dietary sources: pork, liver, green leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli), GI flora can produce from diet

  • Administered in oral soft gelatin capsules or injection

  • Dietary supplementation (RDA: recommended daily allowance):

    • Infants: 10-20mcg

    • Children: 15-100mcg

    • Adult males: 45-80 mcg per day

    • Adults females: 45-65 mcg per day

  • Anticoagulant-induced prothrombin deficiency: 2.5-10mg per day (up to 25mg initially)

  • Hemorrhagic disease in newborn:

    • prophylaxis: single IM dose 0.5-1mg within 1 hour of birth, may repeat in 2-3 weeks.  Mother may receive 1-5mg 12-24 hours before delivery.  Oral doses of 2mg are adequate.

    • treatment: 1mg SQ or IM, in conjunction with proper laboratory testing of PT.

  • Hypoprothrombinemia in adults:

    • 2.5-25mg.  Amount and route of administration depends on severity of disease.




Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
Department of the Navy
2300 E Street NW
Washington, D.C.

Operational Medicine 2001
 Health Care in Military Settings
CAPT Michael John Hughey, MC, USNR
 May 1, 2001

United States Special Operations Command
7701 Tampa Point Blvd.
MacDill AFB, Florida

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