Treats or prevents blood clots from forming in the legs, lungs, and other parts of the body after hip surgery.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to desirudin or to similar medicines such as bivalirudin, lepirudin, Angiomax®, Angiox®, or Refludan®. You should not use desirudin if you have blood clotting disorders or any active bleeding.
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 as a shot under your skin, usually around your stomach or thighs.
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. It may also be given by a home health caregiver.
- 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.
- Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.
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 and direct light. You may store the mixed solution at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Throw away any unused medicine after 24 hours.
- Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
- 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.
- 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 also using abciximab (ReoPro®), clopidogrel (Plavix®), dipyridamole (Aggrenox®, Persantine®), sulfinpyrazone (Anturane®), ticlopidine (Ticlid®), dextran, streptokinase (Streptase®), any other blood thinners (such as heparin), a steroid medicine, or pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, etodolac, ibuprofen, indomethacin, ketorolac, Advil®, Aleve®, Daypro®, Dolobid®, Feldene®, Indocin®, Motrin®, Orudis®, Relafen®, Toradol®, or Voltaren®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have bleeding problems (such as hemophilia), kidney disease, liver disease, severe and uncontrolled high blood pressure, stomach ulcer or bleeding, diabetes-related eye disease, any problems with your heart (such as an infection), a history of stroke or spinal injury, a recent surgery procedure (such as organ biopsy), or if you have recently had brain, spine, or eye surgery.
- 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 bleeding or bruising. This risk is higher if you have a catheter in your back for pain medicine or anesthetics. This is sometimes called an "epidural". Discuss this with your doctor if you are concerned.
- 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.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
- 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.
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 or black, tarry stools.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate, or painful urination.
- Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
- Pain, tenderness, or swelling of the foot or leg.
- Red or dark brown urine.
- Sudden back pain, weakness, or numbness in the legs or lower body.
- 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.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Redness, pain, or bruising where the shot was given.
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