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Heparin

heparin
By Medicover Hospitals / 18 Jan 2021
Home | Medicine | Heparin

Heparin is a prescription drug which comes as a self-injectable solution which is injected under your skin. This also comes as a solution that healthcare provider injects intravenously. Heparin is an anticoagulant. This is a blood thinner which prevents the formation of blood clots. The medication is used for the prevention of blood clots which caused by certain medical conditions. This is also used before surgery for reducing the risk of blood clots.

  1. Heparin Uses
  2. Heparin side effects
  3. Precautions
  4. Heparin Dosage
  5. Heparin Storage
  6. Heparin Warnings
  7. Heparin vs Warfarin
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Citations

Heparin Uses

Heparin is a self-injectable solution used for preventing blood clots from forming in people who are having a certain medical condition or are undergoing certain medical procedures which increases the chance that clots will form. The medication is also used for reducing the growth of clots which have already formed in the blood vessels. However, the medication is not useful for decreasing the size of clots that have already formed. Heparin solutions are used in small amounts for preventing blood clots from forming in cathers which are left in veins over a period of time.

Heparin Side Effects:

Some of the common side effects of Heparin are:

  • Bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Increased liver enzymes

Some of the serious side effects of Heparin are:

  • Severe bleeding
  • Frequent nose bleeds
  • Brown urine
  • Blood coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the face

If you have any of these serious symptoms immediately contact your doctor for further assistance. In any case, due to Heparin if you get any kind of reactions in your body try avoiding it.

A doctor advised you to take the medicines by seeing your problems and the benefits of this medicine are greater than the side effects. Majority of the people who use this medicine don’t show any side effects. Get medical help immediately if you get any serious Heparin side effects.

Precautions:

Before using Heparin talk to your doctor if you are allergic to it or any other medication. The product may contain some inactive ingredient that can cause some serious side effects to your body.
Before taking Heparin talk to your doctor if you are having any medical history:

  • Bleeding problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart problems
  • Cancer
  • Stomach ulcers

How to take Heparin?

Heparin comes in the form of a solution or as injected intravenously injected in the vein. Heparin is injected one to six times a day and sometimes given as a slow continuous injection in the vein. A nurse or other healthcare provider may give you heparin, or you may be instructed to inject the medicine yourself at home. If you will be injecting heparin yourself, a healthcare provider will show you how to inject the medicine. Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions or if you have questions about where in the body to inject heparin, how to give the injection, or how to dispose of used needles and syringes after injecting the medicine.

Before giving a heparin injection, check the package label to make sure it is the strength of the heparin solution that your doctor prescribed. If the heparin concentration is not correct, do not use the heparin and call your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Dosage:

Drug form and strengths

Generic: Heparin

  • Form: injectable solution, preservative-free
  • Strengths: 1,000 units/mL, 10,000 units/mL
  • Form: injectable solution preserved with benzyl alcohol
  • Strengths: 1,000 units/mL, 5,000 units/mL, 10,000 units/mL, 20,000 units/mL

Missed Dose:

Missing one or two-dose of Heparin won’t show any effect on your body. The skipped dose causes no problem. But with some medication, it won’t work if you don’t take the dosage on time. If you miss a dose some sudden chemical change may affect your body. In some cases, your doctor would advise you to take the prescribed medicine as soon as possible if you have missed the dose.

Overdose:

Overdose of a drug can be accidental. If you have taken more than the prescribed dosage there is a chance of getting a harmful effect on your body’s functions. Overdose of a medicine can lead to some medical emergency.

Warnings for certain health groups

For people with sensitivity to pork protein: Avoid taking heparin solution. The drug is made from pork tissue and can cause some life-threatening allergic reaction in people who are sensitive or allergic to other pork proteins.

For people with bleeding or clotting problems: If you have abnormal bleeding or a condition that puts you at higher risk for bleeding, using heparin could increase your risk even more. Use heparin with caution.

For people with kidney disease: If you have severe kidney disease or a history of kidney disease, taking heparin may increase your risk of bleeding.

For people with liver disease: If you have severe liver disease or a history of liver disease, taking heparin may increase your risk of bleeding. Talk to your doctor before using heparin.

Storage:

Direct contact with heat, air and light may damage your medicines. The exposure of medicine may cause some harmful effects. The medicine must be kept in a safe place and out of children’s reach.

Mainly the drug should be kept at room temperature between 68ºF and 77ºF (20ºC and 25ºC).

Before taking Heparin consult your Doctor. In case if you face any problems or get any side effects after taking Heparin rush immediately to your nearby hospital or consult your doctor for better treatment. Carry your medications always in your bag while travelling to avoid any immediate emergencies. Follow your prescription and follow your Doctor advice whenever you take Heparin.

Heparin vs Warfarin:

Heparin Warfarin
Heparin is a prescription drug which comes as a self-injectable solution which is injected under your skin. This also comes as a solution that healthcare provider injects intravenously. Warfarin is an oral anticoagulant. It’s a drug which inhibits the clotting of blood. This helps in preventing the formation of blood clots by reducing the production of factors from the liver that promotes clotting.
Heparin is a self-injectable solution used for preventing blood clots from forming in people who are having a certain medical condition or are undergoing certain medical procedures which increases the chance that clots will form. The important uses of Warfarin are:
  • -Helps in reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke and death
  • -Helps in preventing blood clots with atrial fibrillation and heart valve replacement
  • -Helps in treating blood clots in all the parts of the body.
Some of the common side effects of Heparin are:
  • -Bruising
  • -Bleeding
  • -Irritation
  • -Allergic reactions
  • -Increased liver enzymes
Some of the common side effects of Warfarin are:
  • -Unusual bruising
  • -Unexplainable bruises
  • -Bruises which grow in size
  • -Nose bleeds
  • -Bleeding gums

Frequently Asked Questions:

Heparin is a self-injectable solution used for preventing blood clots from forming in people who are having a certain medical condition or are undergoing certain medical procedures which increases the chance that clots will form.
Heparin works by disrupting the formation of blood clots in the veins. The medication can also prevent blood clots from forming or getting larger.
Some of the common side effects of Heparin are:
  • -Bruising
  • -Bleeding
  • -Irritation
  • -Allergic reactions
  • -Increased liver enzymes
Heparin solutions are used in small amounts for preventing blood clots from forming in cathers which are left in veins over a period of time.

Citations:

  • Heparin, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199105303242206
  • Heparin Dosage, https://abdn.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/guidelines-on-the-use-and-monitoring-of-heparin