Vitamin K is a nutrient that the body needs in the blood clotting process. Vitamin K is found naturally in food and is available as an additional supplement.
The main sources of vitamin K are vegetables and fruits. Types of vegetables and fruit that contain vitamin K include spinach, kale , broccoli, turnips, mustard greens, cabbage, avocado, kiwi, pomegranate, tomatoes and grapes. This vitamin can also be found in fish, meat, liver, and egg yolks.
The main function of vitamin K is to help the blood clotting process. If the body is deficient in vitamin K, it will be difficult for the blood to clot. As a result, people who are deficient in this vitamin tend to experience bleeding and wounds that are difficult to heal.
Vitamin K deficiency is more common in newborns. In adults, vitamin K deficiency can be caused by several conditions, such as taking blood-thinning medications, poor diet, and impaired absorption of nutrients or malabsorption.
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What is Vitamin K
|Category||Over-the-counter and prescription drugs|
|Benefit||Overcome vitamin K deficiency in newborns and treat bleeding due to excess blood thinners (anticoagulants).|
|Used by||Adults and children|
|Vitamin K for pregnant and lactating women||Category C: Animal studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus, but there have been no controlled studies in pregnant women. This supplement should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus. It is not yet known whether vitamin K is absorbed into breast milk or not. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this supplement without consulting your doctor first.|
|Drug form||Tablets, capsules, injections|
Warning Before Using Vitamin K
There are several things that need to be considered before using vitamin K supplements, namely:
- Do not use this supplement if you are allergic to vitamin K. Always tell your doctor about any allergies you have before using any supplement.
- Tell your doctor if you have had or currently have cystic fibrosis , pancreatic disorders, chronic diarrhea, gallbladder disorders, digestive disorders , glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase ( G6PD ) deficiency, liver disease, diabetes, or kidney disease.
- Consult your doctor about taking vitamin K supplements if you have a mechanical heart valve or are having a dialysis procedure.
- Immediately consult a doctor if you experience an allergic drug reaction or overdose after using vitamin K supplements.
Dosage and Rules for Using Vitamin K
Here are common doses of vitamin K based on the form of the drug and the condition being treated:
Vitamin K tablets or capsules
Purpose: Overcoming bleeding due to the use of anticoagulant drugs
Adult: 2.5–25 mg. The frequency of consumption and the number of subsequent doses will be determined by the doctor based on the prothrombin time (bleeding time) and the patient's condition.
Newborns 1–2 mg at birth, followed by 2 mg when the infant is 4–7 days old, and 2 mg after the infant is 1 month old.
Injectable vitamin K
Purpose: Overcoming heavy bleeding due to the use of anticoagulant drugs
- Adult: For severe cases, the dose is 5–10 mg. Maximum dose of 40 mg in 24 hours. For patients with an INR ( international normalized ratio ) value of 5–9, the dose is 0.5–1 mg. For patients with INR >9, the dose is 1 mg. For surgery, the dose is 5 mg.
- Children > 13 kg body weight: The dose is 0.03 mg/kg body weight.
- Children > 1.6 kg body weight: The dose is 0.25–0.30 mg/kg body weight
Purpose: Prevent bleeding due to vitamin K deficiency in infants
For a healthy newborn, the dose is 1 mg. For premature babies with a weight <2.5 kg, the dose is 0.4 mg/kg. Whereas for babies with a weight of ≥2.5 kg, the dose is 1 mg. The dose is given immediately after the baby is born.
Purpose: Overcome bleeding due to vitamin K deficiency in infants
Dosage: 1 mg, with or without prothrombin complex concentrate or fresh frozen plasma .
Daily Needs and Intake Limits of Vitamin K
The daily nutritional adequacy rate (RDA) for vitamin K depends on age, sex and health condition. This amount of intake can be obtained from food, supplements, or a combination of both. The following is the daily RDA of vitamin K based on age:
|6 – 11 months||10|
|Male 13–18 years||55|
|Male ≥19 years||65|
|Female ≥13 years||55|
How to use Vitamin K Supplements Properly
An injectable type of vitamin K supplement will be given directly by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor, by injecting it under the skin, vein, or into the patient's muscle.
Make sure to take vitamin K supplements in tablets or capsules according to the doctor's instructions or the directions for use listed on the package. If necessary, discuss with your doctor to find out the right dosage according to your condition. Do not exceed the recommended dose to avoid side effects.
Vitamin K tablets or capsules can be taken with food or without food. Swallow the vitamin K tablets or capsules whole. Do not split, chew, or grind the supplement.
If you forget to take vitamin K supplements, consume them immediately if the gap with the next consumption schedule is not too close. If it is close, ignore the missed dose and do not double the next dose.
Store vitamin K tablets or capsules in their packaging in a room with a cool temperature and avoid heat and exposure to direct sunlight. Keep this supplement out of reach of children.
Interactions of Vitamin K with Other Drugs
Interactions that can occur if vitamin K supplements are used with certain drugs are:
- Increased risk of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, if taken with anti-diabetic drugs , such as glimepiride, glyburide, metformin, or insulin
- Decreased absorption of vitamin K and effectiveness when used with orlistat or bile acid binding drugs, such as cholestyramine
- Decreased effectiveness of warfarin drugs
- Decreased effectiveness of vitamin K, when used with cephalosporin antibiotics , such as cefoperazone and cefadroxil
Side Effects and Dangers of Vitamin K
Vitamin K supplements rarely cause side effects if taken according to the recommended dosage. However, in some people, vitamin K taken by mouth can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
If vitamin K is injected, side effects that can occur include pain at the injection site, a strange taste in the mouth, or heat and redness of the face.
Check with your doctor if the above complaints don't go away or get worse. Immediately see a doctor if an allergic drug reaction occurs, or the following serious side effects:
- Severe dizziness as if you were about to faint
- Blue lips
- The heart beats fast or irregularly
- Chest pain or a feeling of heaviness in the chest
- Skin rash or hives with itching
- Swelling of the face and throat
- Hard to breathe
In infants, immediately take them to the doctor if they experience the following side effects after being given ibuprofen:
- Difficulty breathing
- Movement is reduced
- Body swells
- Stiff muscles
- Pale or yellowed skin