Heparin (HEP-a-rin), Sodium Chloride (SOE-dee-um KLOR-ide)
Prevents clots in the 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. This medicine is a blood thinner.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not receive 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
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- You may need to carry an identification card to let others know you are using heparin in case of an emergency. Ask your doctor about this.
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 Digitek®, Lanoxin®), nicotine (such as Habitrol®, Nicoderm®, or Prostep®), nitroglycerin injection, allergy medicine (such as diphenhydramine, Benadryl®), or certain antibiotic medicines (such as doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline, Minocin®, or Vibramycin®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, heart disease (such as a heart infection), high blood pressure, a bleeding problem (such as hemophilia), stomach or intestinal ulcers, or a history of heavy or unusual monthly periods.
- Tell your doctor if you recently had a stroke, spinal anesthesia (numbing medicine in the back), or surgery to the eyes, brain, or spine. Make sure your doctor knows if you have ever had a bleeding disorder or blood clots caused by heparin.
- 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.
- This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; swelling of the face, tongue, and throat; trouble breathing; or chest pain after you receive this medicine.
- This medicine may cause new blood clots to form in some people while they are receiving the medicine or after it is stopped. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially the calves; difficulty with breathing; a sudden, severe headache; slurred speech; a sudden, unexplained shortness of breath; a sudden loss of coordination; or vision changes while using this medicine.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or 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.
- Fever or chills.
- Headache, nausea, or vomiting.
- Increased menstrual bleeding.
- Large, flat, blue, or purplish patches in the skin.
- 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, or problems with vision, speech, or walking.
- Unexplained nosebleeds.
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
- Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Bone or joint pain.
- Hair loss.