heparin (injection)

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heparin (injection)

Pronunciation:HEP a rin

What is the most important information I should know about heparin injection?

donotHeparin injection should not be used to flush (clean out) an intravenous (IV) catheter. A separate heparin product is available to use as catheter lock flush.
donotYou should not use this medication if you are allergic to heparin, or if you have uncontrolled bleeding or a severe lack of platelets in your blood.

Before using heparin, tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure, an infection involving your heart, hemophilia or other bleeding disorder, a stomach or intestinal disorder, liver disease, or if you are on your period.

emtHeparin can cause you to have bleeding episodes while you are using it and for several weeks after you stop. Call your doctor at once if you have easy bruising or unusual bleeding, such as a nosebleed, black or bloody tarry stools, or any bleeding that will not stop.
donotCertain medicines can increase your risk of bleeding while you are using heparin, such as aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), ketoprofen (Orudis), ketorolac (Toradol), mefenamic acid (Ponstel), nabumetone (Relafen), piroxicam (Feldene), and others.
donotTell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Women over 60 years of age may be more likely to have bleeding episodes while using heparin.

What is heparin injection?

Heparin is an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that prevents the formation of blood clots.

Heparin is used to treat and prevent blood clots in the veins, arteries, or lung. Heparin is also used before surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots.

donotHeparin injection should not be used to flush (clean out) an intravenous (IV) catheter. A separate heparin product is available to use as catheter lock flush.

Heparin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using heparin injection?

donotYou should not use this medication if you are allergic to heparin, or if you have:
  • a severe lack of platelets in your blood; or
  • uncontrolled bleeding.

To make sure you can safely use heparin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • an infection of the lining of your heart (also called bacterial endocarditis);
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure;
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, such as hemophilia;
  • a stomach or intestinal disorder;
  • liver disease; or
  • if you are having a menstrual period.
nopregFDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether heparin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
nobrfeedDo not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Women over 60 years of age may be more likely to have bleeding episodes while using heparin.

How should I use heparin injection?

Heparin is injected under the skin or into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use an IV at home.

donotDo not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.

Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

donotYou may be switched from injectable heparin to an oral (taken by mouth) blood thinner. Do not stop using the heparin until your doctor tells you to. You may need to use both the injection and the oral forms of heparin for a short time.
rtStore at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of heparin.

What happens if I overdose?

emtSeek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include easy bruising, nosebleeds, blood in your urine or stools, black or tarry stools, or any bleeding that will not stop.

What should I avoid while using heparin injection?

donotCertain medicines can increase your risk of bleeding while you are using heparin, such as aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), ketoprofen (Orudis), ketorolac (Toradol), mefenamic acid (Ponstel), nabumetone (Relafen), piroxicam (Feldene), and others.

What are the possible side effects of heparin injection?

emtHeparin can cause you to have bleeding episodes while you are using it and for several weeks after you stop. Call your doctor at once if you have easy bruising or unusual bleeding, such as a nosebleed, blood in your urine or stools, black or tarry stools, or any bleeding that will not stop.
emtGet emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: nausea, vomiting, sweating, hives, itching, trouble breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, or feeling like you might pass out..

Some people receiving a heparin injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel nauseated, light-headed, sweaty, or short of breath during or after a heparin injection.

donotStop using heparin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, fast heart rate;
  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
  • trouble breathing;
  • (in an infant) extreme drowsiness, weakness, or gasping for breath; or
  • fever, chills, runny nose, or watery eyes.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild pain, redness, warmth, or skin changes where the medicine was injected;
  • mild itching of your feet; or
  • bluish-colored skin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect heparin injection?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • another blood thinner, such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);
  • dipyridamole (Persantine);
  • hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil, Quineprox);
  • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin);
  • indomethacin (Indocin);
  • nicotine cigarettes, gum, lozenges, or skin patches;
  • nitroglycerin (Nitro Dur, Nitrolingual, Nitrostat, Transderm Nitro, and others);
  • an antibiotic such as demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Alodox, Avidoxy, Oraxyl, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn), or tetracycline (Ala-Tet, Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap);
  • cold, allergy, or sleep medications (Allerest, Benadryl, Chlor-Trimeton, Dimetapp, Sominex, Tylenol PM, and others); or
  • salicylates such as aspirin, Nuprin Backache Caplet, Kaopectate, KneeRelief, Pamprin Cramp Formula, Pepto-Bismol, Tricosal, Trilisate, and others.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with heparin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about heparin.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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