Heparin (Injection)

Introduction

Heparin (HEP-a-rin)

Prevents clots in blood vessels before or after surgery or during certain medical procedures. Also treats certain blood, heart, and lung disorders and helps diagnose and treat certain bleeding disorders.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Novaplus Heparin Sodium, PosiFlush Heparin, Heparin Lock Flush, Hepflush-10, Vasceze Heparin Lock Flush, Hep-Lock, Hep-Lock U/P, Monoject Prefill Advanced Heparin Lock Flush, Monoject Prefill Heparin Lock Flush

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to heparin, or if you have active bleeding or severe thrombocytopenia (low platelet count in the blood).

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin or into a vein.
  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • You may need to carry identification to let others know you are using heparin in case of an emergency. Ask your doctor about this.

If a dose is missed:

  • Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • If you store this medicine at home, keep it at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a blood thinner (such as dicumarol, warfarin, or Coumadin®), aspirin, or other medicine that affects blood platelets (such as dextran, dipyridamole, hydroxychloroquine, ibuprofen, indomethacin, phenylbutazone, Advil®, Aggrenox®, InfeD®, Indocin®, Motrin®, Persantine®, or Plaquenil®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using digoxin (such as Lanoxin® or Digitek®), nicotine (such as Habitrol®, Nicoderm®, or Prostep®), nitroglycerin injection, allergy medicine (such as diphenhydramine or Benadryl®), or certain antibiotic medicines (such as tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, Minocin®, or Vibramycin®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have heart disease (such as a heart infection), high blood pressure, bleeding problem (such as hemophilia), stomach or intestinal ulcers, liver disease, or if you have your monthly period or have recently had any type of surgery or spinal anesthesia (numbing medicine in your back).
  • You may bleed and bruise more easily while you are using this medicine. Be extra careful to avoid injuries until the effects of the medicine have worn off. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers. Avoid picking your nose. If you need to blow your nose, blow it gently.
  • Watch for any bleeding from open areas such as around the injection site. Also check for blood in your urine or stool. If you have any bleeding or injuries, tell your doctor right away.
  • Serious side effects can occur even up to several weeks after you have stopped using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have any unusual side effects while you are using this medicine or after you stop using this medicine.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Bloody, black, or tarry stools.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood.
  • Increased menstrual bleeding.
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
  • Pain in your lower leg (calf).
  • Prolonged and painful erection of the penis.
  • Red or dark brown urine.
  • Redness, pain, swelling, itching, blistering, sores, or rash where the needle is placed.
  • Sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking.
  • Unexplained nosebleeds.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
  • Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Wheezing.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Bone or joint pain.
  • Hair loss.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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