Fitomenadione: What is it? Vitamin K Deficiency, Symptoms and Administration

The main symptom of a vitamin K deficiency is excessive bleeding caused by the inability to form blood clots.

Fitomenadione is also known as vitamin k. Vitamin K deficiency in adults is rare but occurs.

The first type is vitamin K-1 or phylloquinone, which can be found in plants such as spinach and kale. The second is known as vitamin K-2 or menaquinone and is found in the body and is created naturally in the intestinal tract.

Both vitamin K-1 and vitamin K-2 produce proteins that help the blood coagulate. The coagulation of the blood prevents excessive bleeding internally and externally.

While vitamin K deficiency is rare, a person’s body can not produce sufficient amounts of these proteins, which increases the risk of excessive bleeding.

Most adults get an adequate supply of vitamin K through their natural food and body production. Certain medications and medical conditions can reduce vitamin K production and inhibit absorption.

However, vitamin K deficiency is much more likely to occur in babies. When it does, it is known as hemorrhage from vitamin K deficiency or VKDB.


Causes and risk factors of vitamin K deficiency

Adults have an increased risk of vitamin K deficiency and the associated symptoms:

  • Take anticoagulants that prevent blood clots but inhibit the activation of vitamin K.
  • Take antibiotics that interfere with the production and absorption of vitamin K.
  • Do not get enough vitamin K from the food you eat.
  • Take extremely high doses of vitamin A or E.
  • Other people who can be diagnosed with vitamin K deficiency have a condition that makes the body unable to absorb fat properly. This is known as fat malabsorption.

People who have trouble absorbing fat may have an associated condition, such as:

  • Celiac Disease.
  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • A disorder of the intestinal or biliary tract (liver, gall bladder, and bile ducts).
  • Part of your bowel was removed.

There are several reasons why newborn babies are more prone to vitamin K deficiency. These are:

  • They are drinking breast milk that is low in vitamin K.
  • Vitamin K does not transfer well from the mother’s placenta to her baby.
  • The liver of a newborn baby can not use vitamin K efficiently.
  • The intestine of a newborn can not produce vitamin K-2 in the first days of life.
  • Dietitians and nutrition experts recommend that adult men consume at least 120 micrograms (mcg) per day of vitamin K and women consume 90 mcg per day.
  • Foods high in vitamin K include green leafy vegetables, prunes, and fermented milk products.

Symptoms of vitamin K deficiency

  • A person with vitamin K deficiency can easily bruise their body.
  • Several symptoms are associated with vitamin K deficiency, but the main one is excessive bleeding.

Excessive bleeding may not be immediately evident, as it can only occur if a person is cut or injured.

Additional signs of excessive bleeding may also include:

  • Small blood clots appear under the nails.
  • Bleeding in the mucous membranes that line areas inside the body.
  • Stools that are dark black, tar-like, or contain blood.

When looking for signs of vitamin K deficiency in newborns and babies, doctors will also look for:

  • Bleeding from the area where the umbilical cord has been removed.
  • Bleeding on the skin, nose, gastrointestinal tract, or other areas.
  • Bleeding in the penis if the baby has been circumcised.
  • Sudden brain hemorrhages are considered severe and life-threatening.


A doctor will ask about a person’s medical history to diagnose a vitamin K deficiency to see if they have any risk factors.

The doctor may use a coagulation test called prothrombin time or PT test. This test draws blood with a small needle. The chemicals are added to the blood, then observed to see how long it takes to clot.

If a person’s blood takes more than 13.5 seconds to clot, the doctor may suspect a vitamin K deficiency.

Certain foods have high levels of vitamin K and should not be consumed before a test. These include foods such as cauliflower, broccoli, chickpeas, kale, green tea, and soy.


If diagnosed with vitamin K deficiency, phytonadione will be administered.

It is usually taken orally, although it can also be given as an injection if a person has difficulty absorbing the oral supplement. The dose administered depends on the age and health of the individual. The usual dose of phytonadione for adults varies from 1 to 25 mcg.

A doctor will also consider whether a person is taking anticoagulants, as these can interact with vitamin K.

Fitonadione and newborns:

Newborns may need a vitamin K supplement.

Vitamin K given at birth can prevent a deficiency in newborn babies. It is usually given as an injection.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that newborns receive a single injection of 0.5 to 1 mcg of vitamin K-1 at birth.

An injection of fitomenadione is significant for newborns under certain conditions. Risk factors for bleeding from vitamin K deficiency include:

  • Babies born prematurely
  • Babies with mothers who take anticonvulsant medications, anticoagulants, or medicines for tuberculosis.
  • Babies who have fat malabsorption due to gastrointestinal or hepatic disease.
  • Newborns not given vitamin K at birth were breastfed exclusively and exposed to antibiotics.

It is up to the parents to decide whether or not their baby receives a vitamin K injection, although it is usually recommended.

In infants, it is essential to administer vitamin K at birth to avoid poor results of excessive bleeding, such as intracranial hemorrhage, brain damage, and infant death.