Population Pharmacokinetics of Enoxaparin During the Antenatal Period

Jignesh Patel, Bruce Green, Raj K Patel, Michael S Marsh, J Graham Davies, Roopen Arya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Background—The optimal dosing strategy of low-molecular-weight heparins for the treatment of antenatal venous thromboembolism is not known. The physiological changes associated with pregnancy alter the pharmacokinetic profile of low-molecular-weight heparins, which has led to controversy and subsequent variation in practice, when pregnant women with venous thromboembolism are treated with low-molecular-weight heparins. Our objective was to develop a robust pharmacokinetic model of enoxaparin during the antenatal period to address this problem.

Method and Results—Women prescribed antenatal enoxaparin were eligible to enroll in the study. Recruited women were reviewed monthly and had up to 3 anti-Xa activities (trough and 1 and 3 hours after dose) drawn at each clinic attendance. Compartmental pharmacokinetic modeling was conducted using nonlinear mixed-effects modeling. One hundred twenty-three patients contributed 795 anti-Xa activities for pharmacokinetic modeling purposes. Both enoxaparin clearance and volume of distribution were increased during pregnancy. Simulations of once- versus twice-daily enoxaparin administration demonstrated that both dosing regimens would reach target 3-hour plasma concentrations throughout the duration of the pregnancy. When trough anti-Xa activity was simulated, both once- and twice-daily regimens exhibited an increase in trough anti-Xa activity with the progression of pregnancy. This is explained by the significant increase in volume of distribution observed during pregnancy.

Conclusions—The half-life of enoxaparin is prolonged with the progression of pregnancy, and our work provides compelling evidence for prescribing once-daily enoxaparin for the treatment of antenatal venous thromboembolism. National and international guideline recommendations should be reconsidered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1462-1469
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation (Baltimore)
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2013


  • Anticoagulants
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enoxaparin
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care
  • Venous Thromboembolism


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